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We've updated one of our most popular materials. See what's new in our guide to MERPs.

Data Management Options

Data Management Options When Calculating HR ROI

An important step in tracking HR data is developing a system to track and record information. How you track and analyze the data will depend on what you are tracking. Don’t worry, the data management system you choose doesn’t need to be overly complex. But it does need to be consistent, time-efficient, and scalable.

Common systems to track HR data include spreadsheets, HR software, and human resource management system (HRMS).HR_data_management_options


Use Excel or another spreadsheet program to track your HR data points.

  • Pros - Easy and inexpensive to set up.

  • Cons - Manual entry and maintenance required, time consuming to maintain accurately.

HR Software

There are numerous HR software solutions on the market to help with employee management, hiring, personnel, benefits, and compliance administration.

  • Pros - A variety of options and features available. Cloud-based options available which are easy to setup and use. Makes data collection and reporting more automated.

  • Cons - Administrative fees required, but vary by type of software and vendor. Some businesses find limitations with customizing HR software.

Comprehensive Human resource management system (HRMS)

A Human Resource Management System (HRMS), also known as Human Resource Information System (HRIS), is a comprehensive system to store and analyze HR data, as well as track applicant tracking, performance management, attendance, compensation and benefits management, workforce analyses, and scheduling.

  • Pros - Minimizes errors (more automatic, less manual), and allows for employee self-service.

  • Cons - The most expensive administration costs, and not always worth the cost (or administration time) for small and medium sized businesses.

Considering the pros and cons of these HR data management, most small and growing companies go with an HR software system (or systems).

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