Human resource (HR) data integration connects your organization's disparate data sources, allowing them to "talk", which gives you clear insights into your company and its people resources. But how do you implement HR data integration? What are the challenges and benefits? Learn more about integrating HR data here.

Five key takeaways:

  • Governments around the world have implemented legislation and regulations regarding the management and accessibility of HR data.
  • Common types of human resource data include personally identifying information, performance stats, employee performance metrics, and recruitment data.
  • Using multiple apps to manage disparate aspects of an organization with can be challenging, difficult to understand, and sometimes entirely overwhelming.
  • HR data integration helps make data more accessible, removes silos, and improves departmental productivity by identifying poor data, improving security, creating understandable visualizations, and aiding analyses and future planning.
  • There's more than one way to integrate HR data, and one of the most common is through the creation of a data warehouse through ETL.

Table of Contents

Your organization has tons of data — customer data, company data, financial data — that you pull from various programs and tools and likely integrate into a single source of truth.

But you have another type of data you might have overlooked. What data is this?

 It's human resource, or HR, data. It's your people data.

 Your employees are at the heart of everything you do, and without them, it'd be impossible to provide your services and give your customers the attention they deserve. How does HR data integration figure into the equation?

The Imperative for HR Data Integration

Like the rest of your business's data, HR data is likely spread across your organization in various silos — even if it's all housed within the HR department—presenting certain challenges to integration adoption.

But HR data integration also has multiple benefits, including time and cost savings in addition to improved employee experiences.

Challenges in HR Without Data Integration

One of the primary issues stemming from siloed data is the lack of a comprehensive, 360-degree view of your workforce. When employee information is scattered across multiple systems, such as payroll, benefits, performance management, and learning management systems, it becomes difficult to gain insights into the overall health and performance of your organization. Fragmented data hinders HR's ability to identify trends, spot potential issues, and make decisions backed up by data. 

The average manual processes used when managing disconnected data sources can lead to significant inefficiencies and increased risk of errors. HR staff often spend countless hours manually gathering, cleansing, and consolidating data from various systems, including paper documents, to generate reports or conduct analyses. This is time-consuming and diverts valuable resources from your organization's overarching goals, while also increasing the likelihood of data inconsistencies and inaccuracies.

The absence of real-time, unified data also impedes HR's ability to respond quickly to changing business needs. When data is not readily accessible or up-to-date, HR may struggle to provide timely insights to leadership, hindering the organization's agility and competitiveness.

Benefits of Data Integration for HR

With HR data integration, you can break down data silos and establish a single source of truth from which HR can holistically see your organization's people-driven resources.

Streamlined HR processes

No one likes time-consuming tasks such as repetitive data entry. HR data integration streamlines HR workflows, increases departmental efficiency, and maintains organizational data continuity. By eliminating these repetitive tasks, your HR team can focus on the duties that matter most to your bottom line.

Enhanced decision-making through unified data insights

With access to real-time, accurate data from across the employee lifecycle, HR professionals can identify trends, anticipate challenges, and develop targeted strategies to optimize employee performance and drive overall business success.

Improved compliance and security

Technology's leaps and bounds in the past few years have led governments and regulatory bodies around the world to implement new data privacy compliance and security legislation. Complying with these regulations is crucial for any organization. HR data integration helps you meet compliance reporting and other regulatory requirements while also improving your overall data security.

Improved employee experiences

Data integration in general helps employees have access to all the data they need to carry out the duties of their role. HR data integration ensures your human resources department has access to all requisite employee data and makes it easier for employees to provide that data when requested.

Think of it like this: Remember the first time you visited your primary care physician? You had to fill out an entire packet of information, and many of those pages asked for the same information multiple times. And you had to add your signature to every single page. Why?

Because each of those documents is sent to a different department or person for processing.

HR data is much the same, and HR data integration greatly reduces this redundancy. Employees enter information one time, provide their digital signature, and submit the information to HR. Then, whenever human resources or any other department needs access to that information, it's just a click away within a singular source of truth rather than siloed across systems. 

Other benefits include:

  • Cost savings
  • Reduced errors
  • Scalability

Saving money is always important, but it should never impact the quality of your data. HR data integration reduces errors that can be introduced during repetitive manual entry. With the time your team saves by entering correct data the first time, a proper integration can seamlessly scale with your business.

Read more: How Business Owners Can Use Data Integration to Their Advantage

Key Components of HR Data Integration

Companies used to shudder at the thought of data integration. 

"That means we need a whole IT department instead of just the two guys we have now!" Or, "We'll have to outsource all of our IT needs!"

But that's because data integration used to mean writing customized code to extract an app's data and then writing more customized code to send that data into another application. Talk about a resource-heavy, time-intensive endeavor! No wonder companies were leery.

And if one of those app's programming interfaces, or APIs, received an update or an employee changed one of your database's custom fields, forget about it—it broke the code. And broken code meant starting from scratch.

Read more: The Top 5 Risks of In-House Development for Data Integration 

Thankfully, today's HR data integration is much more intuitive and doesn't require such a hands-on approach.

Data Sources and Types in HR

HR data integration involves sharing information in one program with another. The most common types of HR data include:

  • Employee information
  • Employee performance stats
  • Metrics for employee performance
  • Data from recruitment efforts

But HR data can be found in any workflow in which documents are passed from desk to desk or between departments. When the information on those documents must be re-entered on multiple screens in different departments, it opens the business to the risks of manually introduced errors. 

Integrating your HR data means that once someone in HR enters an employee's information in the system, that data automatically populates across the organization regardless of the app or program another employee uses to access it, resulting in data continuity.

Integration Tools and Technologies

But what types of HR data integration tools and technologies exist? And how do you know which would be most beneficial for your organization? 

HR data integration tools include:

  • Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS)
  • APIs
  • Middleware

The appropriate HR tool for your business can help you ensure efficient operations and strategic alignment with your overarching company goals, as well as streamline your HR department's typical processes, providing HR managers with employee insights that help the department make better decisions going forward.

Here’s a breakdown of various HRIS solutions and how each tool can benefit your organization:

Operational Human Resources Information System (HRIS)

Operational HRIS are indispensable systems that give HR managers the essential data they need to carry out various HR tasks, such as:

  • Performance management
  • Promotions
  • Hiring
  • Internal personnel modifications

An operational HRIS meticulously tracks and furnishes reports on vital HR data including employee records, position specifics, and performance review insights.

Tactical HRIS

A tactical HRIS solution is instrumental in helping HR managers make high-level decisions concerning resource allocation, job analyses, and professional development. These systems don’t merely process internal metrics, but they also encompass a broader data spectrum including union information, competitor data, and government mandates, which provides more holistic insights for improved decision-making.

Strategic HRIS

Strategic HRIS systems are designed to elevate awareness regarding labor resource availability and workforce planning. A strategic HRIS tool manages critical data such as market information and operational budgets, helping HR personnel craft a well-informed workforce strategy that's aligned with market dynamics.

Comprehensive HRIS

As a holistic solution, a comprehensive HRIS solution is the epitome of the one-stop shop. It's an all-in-one tool that incorporates operational, tactical, and strategic HRIS tools, storing and accessing all the information needed to execute numerous HR functions.

A comprehensive HRIS functions as a streamlined database and platform, and facilitates effortless review and management of multiple HR-centric tasks, and is, therefore, the cornerstone of efficient HR operations.

Using at least one of these HR tools judiciously enhances operational efficiency, boosts HR's strategies and initiatives, and gives your business the agility and foresight to successfully navigate the world of human resources.


An API is the most common method used to facilitate HR data integration. For instance, most HR programs have an API. you can think of an API as either a three-prong plug or an electrical outlet—the API from one program "plugs into" the API from another program, which happens in the cloud, enabling a fast, reliable exchange of data between the programs.

When an HR program doesn't have API functionality, your data team schedules file transfers. A scheduled transfer exports data from one application and imports it to the other program on a preset schedule. APIs provide near real-time data updates, whereas file transfers don't relay updates to programs until the preassigned time, meaning any data that's been changed since the last data transfer will be incorrect until the data transfer occurs.


Middleware tools use data mapping and connectors to help ease HR data integration.'s library of prebuilt connectors use powerful ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) capabilities to extract the data from your source applications and your middleware data maps, transform that data, and load it to your target source.

Security and Compliance Considerations

What is data privacy? Data privacy is all of the rights that belong to the people or entities from which you gather data and your company's obligation to protect that information. Data privacy is especially important for HR departments due to the nature of the data collected, which can include contact information, financial details, health records, compensation, assessments of on-the-job performance, and other personal information.

Data privacy, security, and compliance considerations for HR staff include safeguarding all collected data to establish trust and credibility while maintaining compliance with all regulatory requirements.

HR departments require this information to make informed decisions when carrying out specific business-centric tasks, but human resource professionals walk a very fine line where ethical use and application is concerned. As a result, organizations must ensure transparent data collection practices that are legal and fair.

Implementing HR Data Integration: A Step-by-Step Guide

There are multiple ways for you to collect your HR data. Usually, you'll have a blend of manual tools and automated solutions. The more tools you're using, the greater your need for automation.

To implement HR data integration, the four steps involved are:

  1. Assessment and planning
  2. Choosing the right tools
  3. Data mapping and transformation
  4. Testing and deployment

Let's look at this one step at a time:

Step 1. Assessment and Planning

Before you can decide which HR data integration tools you need, you need to assess your current systems and tools:

  • Do you currently experience data silos? 
  • Do you store any information in the cloud? 

If so, using prebuilt data connectors is the best option because connectors automatically extract the right data from the right tool and transform it for integration with your other systems, tools, and databases.

Before beginning data collection, you need to know what data to extract and why:

  • What are your plans for that data? 
  • If you'll be using it for analysis, what are you tracking? 

Knowing your metrics and setting appropriate goals can help you refine the pool of data you draw from, keeping it to just the most useful information.

The most common sources for HR data include:

  • HRIS data on:
    • Recruitment
    • Demographics
    • Courses and training
    • Compensation
    • Benefits
  • Business data on:
    • Customer relationships
    • Sales
    • Financials

  • Other data on:
    • Mentorships
    • Employee engagement
    • Employee health and wellness

 Human resources data holds a wealth of information, but it's crucial you're open with your staff about how you collect information and why you collect it. Ensure only the departments and individuals who need certain data for role-specific duties have access to sensitive data.

Step 2. Choosing the Right Integration Tools

Once you're clear on your goals, you'll have a better idea of the features you need in an HR data integration tool. Some things you should look for include:

Connectivity and support

HR data integration tools should be able to "speak the language" you need without a lot of translation. The best solutions can connect with: 

  • Databases
  • Cloud storages
  • APIs
  • Spreadsheets
  • CRMs
  • ERPs 

This support ensures you can collect data from any program you need to. 


An HR data integration solution should act like a rubber band—it should be able to handle the day-to-day and year-over-year expansion and contraction of everyday business. Regardless of how large your organization grows, your data integration tool should be able to grow with it, never sacrifice performance, and maintain smooth data operations.

Data transformation proficiency

HR data integration tools need to transform data efficiently, reshaping it as necessary and always offering data that's clean, filtered, aggregated, and reformatted as needed for the type of analyses or reporting you require to make informed decisions.

Tools to maintain data quality

If you've ever employed a gardener, you did so after "weeding out" other prospects. You chose your gardener for their knowledge and understanding of how to care for your specific plants. 

HR data integration tools should know how to care for your data with summarization, validation, and purging or cleansing functionality to keep your information consistent and free of errors.

Processing in real-time

You can't make truly informed decisions for tomorrow with data that was outdated last week. An HR data integration tool needs real-time processing capabilities so data is processed and synched immediately whenever changes occur.

Step 3. Data Mapping and Transformation

Data mapping is a critical component of successful HR data integration. By establishing a clear and comprehensive map of how data flows between systems, you can ensure your information is accurately and efficiently transferred, which minimizes the risk of data loss or inconsistencies.

An HR data integration tool should address the challenges posed by disparate data storage. Consolidating all HR applications and data storage into a single, centralized system eliminates the need for multiple data entry points and reduces the likelihood of data gaps or errors. This approach allows HR professionals to focus their efforts on your goals, rather than wasting time on manual data entry and maintenance. 

You can further enhance the benefits of HR data integration with a tool that seamlessly connects with leading data analytics solutions. These powerful tools enable organizations to gain deeper insights into their workforce by analyzing multiple datasets through advanced big data analytics.

Read more: Is Data Integration a Critical Element in Data Analytics? 

Step 4. Testing and Deployment

Once you've identified a potential HR data integration tool that aligns with your needs, conduct thorough testing before you commit to full-scale deployment. This step ensures that the tool accurately and efficiently integrates data from your unique sources, minimizing the risk of errors or inconsistencies.

Create a comprehensive testing plan that covers all critical aspects of data integration, including data mapping, transformation, and synchronization. Involve any key stakeholders from HR, IT, and other relevant departments to ensure that the testing process addresses the unique requirements of each business unit. 

During the testing phase, pay close attention to data accuracy, and:

  1. Validate that the HR data integration tool correctly maps and transfers data between systems, preserving the integrity of the information.
  2. Assess various scenarios, such as data updates, deletions, and concurrent access, to ensure that the tool handles these situations effectively.
  3. Evaluate the efficiency of data integration processes by measuring the speed and reliability of transfers.
  4. Ensure that the tool can handle the volume of data required by your organization and that it can scale to accommodate future growth.
  5. Monitor your systems for any performance issues or bottlenecks that could hinder data integration.
  6. Work closely with the provider to address concerns and optimize your configuration for your organization's specific needs.

Once testing is complete and the HR data integration tool has proven its accuracy and efficiency, develop a comprehensive deployment plan. The deployment plan should include timelines, resource allocation, and communication strategies to ensure a smooth rollout. 

Throughout the deployment process, provide adequate training and support to HR staff and other end-users to ensure they can effectively leverage the benefits of the integrated data system. Continuously monitor the tool's performance post-deployment and address any issues promptly.

Best Practices for HR Data Integration

To ensure the success of your HR data integration initiative, consider the following best practices: 

  • Clearly define your data integration goals and requirements.
  • Conduct a thorough assessment of your current HR data landscape, identifying silos, inconsistencies, and areas for improvement.
  • Choose an HR data integration tool that offers robust functionality, scalability, and ease of use, such as
  • Develop a comprehensive data mapping and transformation plan to ensure accurate and efficient data flow between systems.
  • Involve key stakeholders throughout the integration process to build buy-in and encourage collaboration.
  • Thoroughly test your HR data integration solution to validate data accuracy, efficiency, and performance before a full deployment.
  • Provide adequate training and support to HR staff and end-users.
  • Continuously monitor and optimize your HR data integration processes to maintain data integrity, efficiency, and alignment with evolving business needs.

We offer a comprehensive, user-friendly platform that seamlessly consolidates HR data from multiple sources so your organization can break down data silos, streamline HR processes, and gain valuable insights for future decisions. 

HR Data Integration with has robust data mapping and transformation capabilities to ensure your HR data is accurately and efficiently integrated, while our scalable architecture accommodates growing data volumes and evolving business requirements. Our intuitive interface and extensive range of connectors make it easy to manage and analyze unified employee data, without relying heavily on IT support.

Ready to partner with for your HR data integration needs? See the full potential of your workforce data today with a free, 14-day trial.  If you're still evaluating potential tools, schedule a demo to see how can enable data-driven decisions, optimize HR processes, and drive your business to success.


How does HR data integration affect employee privacy and data security?

HR data includes (but is not limited to) details about employees' and potential candidates’:

  • Recruitment method
  • Demographics and other personally identifying information
  • Courses and training they've completed
  • Compensation (current or desired)
  • Benefits (current or desired)
  • Mentorships
  • Employee engagement activities
  • Employee health and wellness initiatives

 Given the nature of the information available in employee data, it's important that access is restricted to only those who need to have the data to carry out the duties of their position.

Can HR data integration improve talent acquisition and retention?

HR data integration improves data quality, thereby improving the results of data analytics. Strong data analytics helps organizations identify, attract, and keep the best employees. Using big data, predictive analystics, and other tools, data integration helps HR staff make better decisions, hire better talent, and improve their organizations.

What metrics can be improved with HR data integration?

A few metrics that see results with improved accuracy after HR data integration include:

  • Absenteeism
  • Early turnover
  • Employee training
  • Cost of hires
  • Employee engagement
  • Workforce planning
  • Regulatory compliance