How Your HR Processes Drive Data Quality

June 21, 2018
Data Quality Process metrics

Did you know that HR processes drive most of the Identity Management lifecycle for employees and contractors?

These processes have a direct impact on how effective an organization is at managing user access and, to a large extent, productivity. As organizations grow and need to function at scale, small defects in the process can lead to large issues for end users.

"Identity Management (IAM) solutions often fail to deliver results because organizations do not develop a Data Map up front as part of their Requirements and Design." How Data Maps Prevent Identity Management Mistakes

Having a detailed process map is a good first step for any organization looking to automate user administration. However,  it's important that onboarding and off-boarding processes keep an eye on the 5 key elements of data quality:

  1. Availability
  2. Completeness
  3. Accuracy
  4. Timeliness
  5. Consistency

So, why is data quality so important? Identity Management is a rule-based system that makes provisioning decisions based on user data. If an attribute is missing or incorrect, then the system will not perform its tasks properly. This frequently results in users with no company email address, no network access, and a lot of frustration. Data quality issues drive operations and support costs through the roof.

"A successful Identity Management process requires the Identity Management team to work closely with the Human Resources department to create an efficient, effective employee on/off-boarding process."  Connecting Human Resource Process and Data to Identity Management

When reviewing HR onboarding processes, here are 5 questions to help determine if your processes are improving data quality or hampering it:

  • What is the minimum data set required for Identity Management?
  • When is this data available in the process? What sub-processes depend on that data?
  • Do we collect all the data that is needed by an IAM system?
  • Is the data validated for accuracy? Is it maintained? Who maintains it?
  • Which system is authoritative for each attribute and how does it flow across connected systems?

One frequently overlooked area of an IAM project is the critical task of documenting the business processes and data flows enabled in the service delivery. Even rarer is the implementation of an ongoing operational practice of keeping these artifacts as living and breathing documents. This practice would be helpful for business continuity (onboarding new workers) as well as ongoing service operations and support.

Identity management presents an opportunity within IT, and across the business, to address common challenges such as:

  • Fragmented user data that is manually replicated across systems
  • Data quality managed independently with no consistency
  • Highly manual data quality processes with limited governance
  • Data from mergers and acquisitions introduce new systems and data standards
  • Organizational hierarchies change frequently due to corporate restructuring, impacting workflows
  • Manual, difficult, and expensive methods for error resolution when integrations fail (i.e. workarounds)

Every organization has extensive knowledge and experience in solving problems but it doesn't collectively improve productivity because teams often think and act independently. As a result, they don't bother to document solutions or processes to share across the company and allowing everyone to benefit. This siloed approach does nothing to improve global delivery and effectiveness for the entire IT function and undermines efforts to create an effective service model. 

Many organizations experience the hidden costs of low-quality user data, which makes automating routine Identity Management and provisioning tasks difficult and drives unnecessary operational and support costs. Learn how to overcome common data quality problems in our On-Demand Webinar, Overcoming Data Quality Challenges In Your IAM Implementation.


Also, be sure to download my new, FREE digital book entitled Reimagining Identity Management: How To Design, Choose And Implement The Right IAM Solution For Your Business.

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