Program Showcase: From Design to Data

DMEC Staff@Work

Turning Your Integrated Absence Management Design into a Functional Data Platform

By David Glickman


Integrated absence management (IAM) involves negotiating an incredible array of agreements within your organization, as well as with your vendors.

You are providing a long list of benefits, leaves, and rights to a very diverse employee population. You are providing these in a way that complies with myriad laws from the federal level down to the municipal level, and you have sold IAM to upper management as an employee engagement environment that can produce a return on investment.

You need to understand some data management basics to translate your painfully negotiated agreements into a functional data platform that delivers all those promises on the back end. You want a platform that can be built and operated efficiently, and you need to know enough to identify some basic types of errors. In fact, some software tools are becoming simple enough that your staff might learn to use these tools to make small corrections to software components that were developed by experts.

For example, after your vendor has delivered a software system, why delay your go-live date for the new system, held up by a simple coding error, if someone on your staff can identify and correct the error? Some of the code-editing tools are almost as easy as operating a word processor for those on your staff who have the aptitude and patience to learn.

For all these reasons, you want to understand application programming interfaces (APIs); these simple yet powerful technologies help diverse software applications to communicate directly with each other in real time. If reaching the right agreements was important to designing your IAM initiative, keeping your promises on the backend through a functional data platform is another key to your success.

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