This is a guest post by Brian Kasen and Rebecca McAlpine from Trakstar, now a part of Mitratech.
Trakstar, now a part of Mitratech, is a human resources (HR) software company that serves customers from small businesses and educational institutions to large enterprises, globally. Trakstar supercharges employee performance around pivotal moments in talent development. Our team focuses on helping HR leaders make smarter decisions to attract, retain, and engage their workforce. Trakstar has been used by HR leaders for over 20 years, specifically in the areas of applicant tracking, performance management, and learning management.
In 2023, Trakstar joined Mitratech’s world-class portfolio of Human Resources and Compliance products. This includes complementary solutions for OFCCP compliance management; diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategy and recruiting (now with Circa); advanced background screening; I-9 compliance; workflow automation; policy management; and more.
In 2022, Trakstar launched what is now called Trakstar Insights, which unlocks new analytical insights for HR across the employee life cycle. It’s powered by Amazon QuickSight, a cloud-native business intelligence (BI) tool that enables embedded customized, interactive visuals and dashboards within the product experience.
In this post, we discuss how we use QuickSight to deliver powerful HR analytics to over 3,000 customers and 43,000 users while forecasting savings of 84% year-over-year as compared to our legacy reporting solutions.
The evolving HR landscape
Over the past few years, new realities have emerged, creating unfamiliar challenges for businesses and new opportunities for HR leaders. In 2020, new working arrangements spawned by immediate necessity, with many companies shifting to fully remote or hybrid setups for the first time. As we still adapt to this new environment, organizations have trouble finding talent, with record-level resignation rates and a tight labor market.
As companies look to combat these new challenges, we’ve seen the rise of the Chief People Officer because organizations now recognize people as their greatest asset. With our three products, Trakstar Hire, Trakstar Perform, and Trakstar Learn, HR leaders can use data to take an integrated approach and foster a better employee experience.
Choosing QuickSight to bring solutions to the new reality of work
To help HR leaders navigate the new challenges of our time and answer new questions, we decided to embed interactive dashboards directly into each Trakstar product focused on the growing area of people analytics. QuickSight allowed us to meet our customers’ needs quickly and played a key role in our overall analytics strategy. Because QuickSight is fully managed and serverless, we were able to focus on building value for customers and develop an embedded dashboard delivery solution to support all three products, rather than focusing on managing and optimizing infrastructure. QuickSight allowed us to focus on building dashboards that address key pain points for customers and rapidly innovate.
In a 12-month timespan, we designed and launched five workforce dashboards to over 20,000 users, spanning hiring, performance, learning, and peer group benchmarking. During the same 12-month time period, in addition to our Trakstar Insights dashboard releases, we also migrated Trakstar Learn’s legacy reporting to QuickSight, which supports an additional 20,000 users.
Delighting our customers by embedding QuickSight
Our goal was to build something that would delight our customers by making a material difference in their daily lives. We set out to create something that went beyond a typical Minimum Viable Product, but rather create a Minimum Lovable Product. By this, we mean delivering something that would make the most significant difference for customers in the shortest time possible.
We used QuickSight to build a curated dashboard that went beyond traditional dashboards of bar charts and tables. Our dashboards present retention trends, hiring trends, and learning outcomes supplemented with data narratives that empower our customers to easily interpret trends and make data-driven decisions.
In January 2022, we launched the Perform Insights dashboards. This enabled our customers to see their data in a way they had never seen before. With this dashboard, HR leaders can compare organizational strengths and weaknesses over time. The power of QuickSight lets our customers slice and dice the data in different ways. As shown in the following screenshot, customers can filter by Review Process Type or Group Type and then take actionable next steps based on data. They can see where top and bottom performers reside within teams and take steps to retain top performers and address lower-performing employees. These were net new analytics for our HR customers.
Our investment in building with QuickSight was quickly validated just days after launch. One of our sales reps was able to engage a lost opportunity and land a multi-year contract for double our typical average contract value. We followed up our first dashboard launch by expanding Trakstar Insights into our other products with the Learning Insights dashboard for Trakstar Learn and Hiring Insights for Trakstar Hire (see the following screenshots). These dashboards provided new lenses into how customers can look at their recruitment and training data.
Through our benchmarking dashboards, we empowered our customers so they can now compare their trends against other Trakstar customers in the same industry or of similar size, as shown in the following screenshots. These benchmarking dashboards can help our customers answer the “Am I normal?” question when it comes to talent acquisition and other areas.
Telling a story with people data for reporting
With the custom narrative visual type in QuickSight, our benchmarking dashboards offer dynamic, customer-specific interpretations of their trends and do the heavy lifting interpretation for them while providing action-oriented recommendations. The burden of manual spreadsheet creation, manual export, data manipulation, and analysis has been eliminated for our customers. They can now simply screenshot sections from the dashboards, drop them into a slide deck, and then speak confidently with their executive teams on what the trends mean for their organization, thereby saving tremendous time and effort and opening the door for new opportunities.
A Trakstar Hire customer shared with us, “You literally just changed my life. I typically spend hours creating slides, and this is the content—right here, ready to screenshot for my presentations!”
Building on our success with QuickSight
With the success of launching Trakstar Insights with QuickSight, we knew we could modernize the reporting functionality in Trakstar Learn by migrating to QuickSight from our legacy embedded BI vendor. Our legacy solution was antiquated and expensive. QuickSight brings a more cohesive and modern look to reporting at a significantly lower overall cost. With the session-based pricing model in QuickSight, we are projecting to save roughly 84% this year while offering customers a more powerful analytics experience.
Building with QuickSight has helped us thrive by delivering valuable HR solutions to our customers. We are excited to continue innovating with QuickSight to deliver even more value to our customers.
To learn more about how you can embed customized data visuals and interactive dashboards into any application, visit Amazon QuickSight Embedded.
About the authors:
Brian Kasen is the Director, Business Intelligence at Mitratech. He is passionate about helping HR leaders be more data-driven in their efforts to hire, retain, and engage their employees. Prior to Mitratech, Brian spent much of his career building analytic solutions across a range of industries, including higher education, restaurant, and software.
Rebecca McAlpine is the Senior Product Manager for Trakstar Insights at Mitratech. Her experience in HR tech experience has allowed her to work in various areas, including data analytics, business systems optimization, candidate experience, job application management, talent engagement strategy, training, and performance management.