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Taboola has become the largest discovery platform in the open web, reaching 1.4B people monthly, which is almost half of the world’s connected population. As an industry, Human Resources is going through a transformation for the future with data and tech playing a central role. In particular for Taboola, Alteryx has transformed how processes are directed within HR allowing them to deliver value at scale across their growing company. For example, leveraging Alteryx to automate multiple processes that traditionally were manual. They’ve created some exciting solutions to help automate processes such as creating hundreds of JIRA tickets a day, collecting and quickly redistributing critical information from Google Sheets for fast collaboration.
Describe the business challenge or problem you needed to solve
As a company, we have over 1200 employees, 19 offices across 17 countries around the globe. The single largest volume of data in the people space that we're working with is our recruiting data. We have 20,000 people per quarter applying to work at Taboola.
We're aiming to use analytics to consistently deliver insights related to a company's human capital. That includes things like process automation and driving efficiency. We want to build these analytic processes into these daily lives of HR practitioners to drive more effective action and we're not looking to remove the people-based intuition that is so powerful in HR, we're looking to balance that with an analytic-driven HR.
Describe your working solution
We start in Alteryx's wield house with ETL. We're using an API to pull from our HR information system Bamboo and from our applicant tracking system, and we have a database connection to Amazon Redshift. We grab the Google Sheets macros from the Community to write in and out of Google Sheets and we connect to Gmail and create emails right from Alteryx. And we use Jira, an IT tool that is an issue tracking and bug management software.
DATA WAREHOUSING We're managing data recovery through Alteryx. Many of our HR systems are cloud applications. We're able to back those up using Alteryx. Whereby we created a data warehouse center for our team to use, our people analytics, HR, talent acquisition and financial analysis and sales operations teams. They're all using reports coming out of our data warehouses. We also have the scheduler product, so we're running these builds on a daily basis to support all these groups. Doing this all without IT. All within our relatively small people analytics team.
TRANSFORMATION OF HR TRANSACTIONS
Sample of transactional employment history
We're doing all our analysis and reporting using Alteryx
Creating tidy transactional data
Restructuring data whereby the data itself is in a database style format
We use Alteryx to transform to longitudinal lookup data
Lookup information by multiple fields, that aren’t necessarily in every record
6,000 rows of data; 70,000 rows of business insight
DATA ANALYSIS & REPORTING
We often get asked questions like when was the last title change or last promotion for an individual and what was it from and to? We now use the multi-row formula to answer that. This is the tool that when I saw, I fell in love with Alteryx! Before Alteryx, I was doing this in SQL.
We're doing a lot of different things, this is just one example of a workflow where we are building a visual organization chart essentially where you can see how the organization reports into each other. And so, what we have is this succession of join tools for each level in our organizational hierarchy and you can see as it goes through. For example, whoever on the left doesn't have a manager on the right, falls out on the left. Whoever does, becomes the left input for the next join, so coming out of the left on the first join, you get our CEO. Coming out of the left on the second join, you get his direct reports. Coming out of the left on the next join, you get their direct reports and so on, all the way throughout the organization.
DATA INTEGRITY Our HRIS provides too much flexibility leading to data entry and data consistency errors. We boil it down to two challenges, one was capturing the data errors in Alteryx and the other is the issue tracking and task management in Jira. Alteryx lends itself to creating a system framework that has a variety of inputs and outputs, it can control order of operations and timing, and it has embedded notifications and alerts. Below is our data quality control system in two steps:
Step one - data error and capture: we're pulling from our HRIS twice a day, all employees all history, capturing over 70 different types of errors. We add new ones nearly every week as we come across new and more interesting ways that our HR managers can screw up the data, we're catching all of those errors.
Step two - Jira creation and management: take that error output file from the first step, comes in on the right of your vertically-oriented Join tool, and on the left is the open Jira tickets you're pulling from the API, join those together. Anything that falls out on the left are Jira tickets that no longer have an error behind them. We close those tickets in the Download tool. Anything that falls out on the right is an error with no Jira behind it, so we are going to create a Jira ticket. And in the middle, we have an error that exists and a Jira that already exists. We're going to do nothing.
PROCESS MANAGEMENT Our compensation request and approval process were a network of Google Sheets and it was two-month long process. Alteryx provides a custom platform for managing complex processes, with independent control of read/write, rapid execution and multiple file processing simultaneously.
Alteryx is giving us the ability to be a center of excellence for enriched data sets that can be leveraged by the broader organization. Our usage of the Alteryx platform has created value for other groups that aren’t using Alteryx. It empowers a team to do new thing, and it generates downstream value that other teams can benefit from.
The tools in Alteryx are extremely powerful. I feel that the platform itself has a lot of power. I really enjoy the visual power of Alteryx. I feel like I'm operating in zero-gravity. I don't have any bounds on how I'm managing the data. I can do whatever I want!