Mercer Delivers New Workforce Analytics Technology

Summary: Mercer continues to expand beyond HR consulting and outsourcing with the launch of their latest cloud-based analytics solution.

Mercer, one of the largest global human resource consulting services providers, today announced the delivery of  its new workforce metrics and analytics solution, Mercer iknow.  Combining  technology, content and services, this new offering is designed to help organizations make better, quicker decisions about its people.

Mercer iknow is a cloud-based analytical platform, designed to analyze data from a wide variety of sources and empower business leaders with actionable, data-driven decision support.  Customers control the data driving the platform, from internal sources (such as ERP, CRM, talent management, payroll, learning management, HRIS, or even internal social networking systems data), as well as external data sources (benchmarking data, regional UI rates, etc.).  Mercer delivers pre-built connectors to some of the leading HCM vendors, but the toolset allows incorporation from a wide variety of data sources.

The iknow technology platform is enriched with Mercer’s proprietary content from surveys and research.  For example, benchmarking data from Mercer’s compensation surveys enables immediate analysis of company data against benchmarking data at the industry or regional level, or at more granular levels such as job family or career level.  Pre-defined metrics are also bundled into the iknow offering, spanning areas such as workforce structure, performance and accountability, capability and sourcing, rewards and recognition, leadership, and others. This level of pre-integrated content and metrics within the technology platform can serve to  significantly accelerate the analytical efforts of an organization.

Despite a strong technology platform and data from many sources, success with workforce insight initiatives can still be elusive for an organization.  Mercer bundles consulting services throughout the workforce analytics lifecycle to address many of the obstacles that can hinder success at any stage: from the early planning stages of knowing what to measure, to understanding the business logic that should be applied to the data for talent insight, to the ongoing guidance needed to effectively interpret, communicate and act upon the results.

The result of Mercer’s iknow technology, data, proprietary content and consulting is a very data-intensive set of measures and services to help drive better decision making in the organization.

Sample images from the Mercer iknow solution:



Available in the cloud on a subscription basis, the iknow platform can be accessed through multiple devices including tablets, with smartphone access planned within the next few months.

My POV:

  • Workforce metrics, analytics and planning are areas of intense interest for many organizations today, yet technology alone is not the answer.  Mercer’s approach to bundling content, ongoing services (not just implementation services) and technology together in a comprehensive offering demonstrates they understand the complexities of these initiatives and can be a strong partner in their customers’ success.
  • The iknow solution is a natural extension of Mercer’s already deep experience the area of workforce analytics consulting, closing the loop between strategy and execution, between consulting and technology enablement;  Mercer’s current consulting and technology customers should consider the iknow platform if they are seeking a workforce metrics and analytics solution.
  • HCM technology vendors often deliver a level of analytics with their solutions (learning analytics from LMS providers, talent analytics from talent management vendors), but more valuable  business insight can be derived from evaluating and correlating data from a variety of sources, both internal and external.  Mercer iknow is not unique in its ability to pull data in from multiple sources and rationalize it for analysis, but the bundled content and services bring unique value to customers as an accelerator for success.
  • The iknow technology platform is different from the technology platform of Mercer’s Human Capital Connect solution.  I do not see this as a particular challenge, however, as analytics platforms are intended to interoperate with a variety of data sources.
  • A disadvantage of pre-bundled content can be that it grows stale or requires periodic refreshes, which may impact the customer’s HRIT staff.  An assumed advantage of Mercer’s iknow offering is that its content is refreshed without disruption to customers as new data becomes available.  Additional clarity from Mercer on this aspect of the offering would be beneficial.
  • The iknow solution was quietly previewed at last year’s HR Technology Conference and customers have been utilizing the pre-GA version.  I would like to see customer success stories or testimonials from these engagements.

Need help evaluating your options in the area of workforce analytics?  Let us know.  Also let us know of your experiences with Mercer’s iknow platform and/or their consulting experiences in this area.

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