Germany’s economy is a marvel, thanks to a highly educated, skilled, and tech-savvy workforce. It boasts the fourth-largest GDP worldwide, and its exports rank third in the world behind China and the US The country’s employee protection laws that cover payroll, time off, safety and other worker rights are among the strongest globally.
Like all German companies, DATEV eG must operate in accordance with worker councils that ensure compliance with these regulations. It must also safeguard the privacy of each employee’s data, as specified in the European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) law.
Michael Goller is the technical architect for Workday at DATEV and knows these worker regulations well. Keeping the company compliant is a big part of his job. So is providing secure, privileged HR data access – whether it’s employees’ personal data or business data that management can use to make well-informed organisational decisions. He is also involved in ensuring data privacy.
Time to modernise.
DATEV used to keep its HR information in complex data storage systems that were built 20 years ago. To combine the data with information from other systems to conduct analytics and generate reports, the data had to be delivered to a data warehouse by a complex extract, transform and load (ETL) process. “To modernise our HR data system, we chose Workday to make cross-functional data access, management, analytics and reporting easier,” Goller says.
Unfortunately, DATEV ran into a major obstacle. “Anything requiring historical HR data was practically impossible, and if it could be done, it was unimaginably cumbersome and time-consuming,” Goller explains. “To load our complete history from our prior HCM software into Workday would have taken too long.”
Today, all our historical data is fully accessible, plus all our relevant data is in one place, thanks to Workday Prism Analytics. And we’ve also enabled user self-service with Workday.Technical Architect
Easy access to historical HR data was key to keeping DATEV employee profiles complete, accurate and in compliance with Germany’s worker protection regulations. That’s when Goller discovered Workday Prism Analytics. This solution could provide DATEV with a data hub capable of bringing large volumes of diverse historical and operational data together with trusted Workday data into one unified, secure source. “We solved the big problem of how we would access our historical HR data by adding Prism Analytics to our Workday setup,” he says. “Ultimately, we decommissioned the old data warehouse, saving us time and expenses.”
Christmas in July.
Soon after DATEV went live on Workday, the clock began ticking for Goller to complete an ultra time-sensitive project in the new environment: Christmas bonuses. “Having just completed our deployment in early summer, we had to have the bonus model done by the end of October,” he says. “It required data from many sources, including historical data, and involved unique calculations for each employee. Any delay would upset everyone. But we made our target date with the Workday Prism Analytics data hub, which seamlessly brought all our data together in one place.”
Goller also gives credit to an expert Workday consultant who helped his team get started on the right foot and put Prism Analytics to work in the best way possible. “We avoided false starts that would’ve put our deadline at risk,” he says. “We seamlessly pulled all the right data elements into our model, successfully tested it, and then put it into our payroll production system without a hitch.”
Insolvency insurance: a step toward self-service.
In Germany, workers can take sabbatical leave of up to several years. DATEV offers the possibility of leave for up to three years. In preparation for this leave, the worker earns a claim prior to the leave that is used up in the leave period. “Every company has to insure this money, and it can add up to a substantial balance sheet item that auditors review closely, which is how it works at DATEV,” Goller says. “Every December, we must produce a report for our insurance company, which adjusts its coverage fee according to the total amount we have set aside on our balance sheet. We also must report the amounts to each worker once a year.”
We’ve been able to enrich our business processes much more than we could have before by including data reports generated by Workday Prism Analytics.
Using the Workday Prism Analytics data hub to bring disparate data together for these reports, Goller delivered the insurance company report and the individual reports to workers in December, as guidelines necessitated. “This also required historical data from our old system, and the upload was quite fast,” he says. “Now that it’s a Prism report with most of the processing done within Workday, employees can pull their own reports. Currently, our self-service includes an individual’s secure access to their timesheets, payroll information and other personal data.”
Goller no longer must endure complex data transformations to build various reports. “I’m not especially technical, so doing integrations in Workday using the Prism Analytics data hub is much easier than before,” he says. “You build a report in Workday, pull the data into Prism, and then combine it with data from the external system. Next, you collate and integrate the data, and your report is done. If you notice an error, it’s easy to correct.”
GDPR assures data privacy and compliance.
The EU GDPR rules are complicated and violating them can be costly. One of its requirements is for companies to purge an individual’s data if it’s no longer needed or at an employee’s specific request. “We can set timetables to archive or remove specific HR data using Prism within our Workday environment,” Goller concludes. “Combined with the built-in data security features in Workday, this added capability helps us guard our workers’ data and ensure our GDPR compliance – which are both essential to DATEV’s management and worker councils.”