Data Will Help HR Lead Teams Through and Beyond COVID

Qlik Delivers Two HR-related Apps to Assist HR in Staff Planning and Response

With COVID-19 now part of our daily lives, normal business operations and practices have been abandoned or curtailed and reinvented to sustain our businesses. Indeed, each department, division and team has had its own dynamics changed in this time of lockdown, and coping with process and workplace setting changes can present unique challenges.

Human Resources (HR) is, of course, very familiar with the concepts of onboarding and managing employees needs during challenges. However, COVID creates unique challenges, and HR is the now the first port of call for managing a variety of unexpected and unplanned employee issues. New talent needs to be ramped virtually so they can reach full productivity, and even departures need to be handled with extra delicacy and balance. What HR may not be as familiar with, and what I see as a growing issue, is re-boarding – returning employees to a way of work that has been changed by COVID-19, perhaps permanently. And, with the gap between HR and Finance becoming smaller and smaller, there is a business case to be made for the need for a fiscally sound corporate recovery with data-driven HR decisions.

At Qlik, we’ve foreseen this challenge, and created two complementary apps – a COVID-19 HR Solution app and a HR Emergency Response app. Together, these can enable our customers to maintain a competitive workforce advantage, allowing businesses to use data and analytics to make the best decisions regarding all the surrounding issues of location, technology, support and facilities during the pandemic and our eventual return to what, inevitably, will be a changed working environment.

Once integrated with your data, the apps can provide detailed information about employees by country, or by county or state in America. By selecting an HR dashboard within the COVID-19 HR solution app, users can explore several important and interrelated COVID-19 data sets, which can be updated hourly through our app’s connection to John Hopkins University: active cases, the three-day rolling growth rate and new cases by country. Within this dashboard is also a full geographical map with dots representing employee clusters and a roster of employee departments that can be further refined by job class (individual contributor up to executive). You can even look at a block chart that cross-lists department and job class down to the county level. This gives the user a full, real-time enterprise view of the workforce as it relates to COVID-19, enabling you to know who may be most at risk.

The HR Emergency Response app also provides a wealth of demographic and organizational COVID-19 related information. Based on pre-populated data, and blended with a user’s data, a COVID-19 heatmap gives the viewer an instant visual understanding of outbreak hotbeds, which can be drilled into to discover who works in those hotbeds. Employee risk or a given employee population risk can be calculated using a variety of measures, including: age over 65, gender, pre-existing conditions (diabetes and heart disease), percentage over age 65, and similar metrics for our corporate facilities. Data also exists on the number of hospital and ICU beds, bed utilization rates and more in each geography. In addition, the app can provide a sense of how displaced the employee population has become due to COVID-19 and how dispersed teams, once co-located in the same office, now work remotely. Emergency contact and communication tools are also provided, oncoming weather events can be assessed using data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the United States, and an audit function can be used to continually identify missing, incomplete or outdated data.

At the highest level, these apps can help better position all of us to re-enter the world as safely and as efficiently as possible with an altered working culture. As our talent is our most important resource and our largest investment, we need to know how healthy our employees are, the risks they face and the costs incurred in ensuring they perform at peak efficiency. We need to understand who needs what equipment, where to deploy additional IT, and if, in fact, we do need large corporate centers or if we’d be better off with smaller regional offices. Decentralization and flex spaces may become a trending corporate real estate strategy as we move forward. There’s also the issue of personality. Departments whose members are more likely introverts may find working from home a hinderance on their productivity due to the loss of having informal, non-prearranged facetime with their teammates, where interaction is natural and requires minimal effort. Extroverts, who need socialization opportunities in other ways, draw energy from having to present and engaging audiences. Both kinds of personalities need to be accounted for but who works from home and who goes back to the office?

These and others are questions these apps can help us answer as we look toward the future. Businesses need to use data as a core part of their HR function, most especially because personnel and human capital spend can have the highest impact on a company’s performance and ability to weather COVID-19.

To learn more, please join me on May 20 for a webinar hosted by the Society for Human Resource Management, where I’ll be showcasing the HR Emergency Response app. Register now by visiting:

You can also learn more about Qlik’s free HR Employee Safety solution accelerator that uses the latest COVID-19 data by clicking the following link:

Read the blog post by our own @tom_ricks to learn more about how @Qlik is delivering apps to help #HR lead teams through and beyond #COVID.


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