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Crosschq vs Business Intelligence Tools: Why You Need Hiring Intelligence Too


Data is king. Gathering and analyzing data – correctly, in time, and easily – and producing real, useful insights from that data, that is the hurdle.

HR leaders are constantly seeking ways to streamline processes and improve outcomes when it comes to recruitment, hiring, and employee engagement. Inherently, we all agree that data is the backbone of producing successful optimization. But how do we go about gathering that data, and more importantly, how to harness and make insightful decisions from it? Or better yet, empowering teams with the capabilities to be truly data driven?

Business intelligence tools for all, useful for some. 

If your company is like most, in this quest for more and better data, and hopefully useful reports,  BI tools were acquired and implemented. However, the solution didn’t come easily. Not only is the ETL and Data Warehouse build time consuming for the data engineering teams, many of these BI tools are extremely complex, have a sharp learning curve, and require a dedicated team simply to build out basic reports and dashboards. As a result, they’re physically and strategically separated from stakeholders, creating a disconnect between need and solution.

Ultimately, as most of us have experienced, BI reports don’t always deliver useful insights. 

Hiring Intelligence (Human Resources BI Tools) to the rescue.

HR-data-specific intelligence platforms like Crosschq were specifically built to fill those gaps, but getting a CFO to sign off on yet another tool can be, to say the least, difficult. They wonder to themselves: “Why do we need another solution when we already paid a lot for this BI tool?”.

Understanding what a Hiring Intelligence platform does and why it’s the ideal way to expand and improve on (or even replace) current BI reports can help HR leaders justify the newly requested cost to their CFO. Perhaps you’re not sure if you even need this platform and why. 

Here’s everything you need to know as to why HR and recruitment leaders still need a tool like Crosschq for measuring and tracking specific recruitment-based metrics and pipeline health, and embedding data-driven practices with all recruiting and hiring team members.


Business Intelligence in Human Resources: At-a-Glance
We’ve provided a lot of useful information here. Skip down to what helps the most!


What Makes BI Data Useful

There’s a major flaw in simply assuming a data tool is just going to be useful to all stakeholders in all departments. Let’s start with what actually makes data, and connected reports and dashboards actually useful.

Here’s a further build on Harvard Business Review’s list of what to expect from good data:

  • Trustworthy: Faith that the data is accurate and presenting a realistic picture
  • Timely: Receive data analytics when needed, with the right framework to gain insights
  • Comprehensive: Report on metrics that are directly relevant to the business at-hand
  • Impactful: Deliver findings and insights that are not just applicable but also actionable
  • Logical: Provide reports that make sense and are easy to understand
  • Agile: Visualization and the ability to quickly customize reports based on the situation


Are you receiving data analytics from your BI tool that are providing the above conditions for HR?

“Even the most sophisticated and accurate analysis must avoid being lost in the shuffle by being embedded in a logical framework that is understandable and relevant to decision makers.”
 Harvard Business Review, “HR Must Make People Analytics More User-Friendly”


HR Business Intelligence Data Validation

Data tools are only as accurate (and therefore effective) as the data platforms they are built on. It obviously depends on how they’re managed, but BI tools are, to put it baldly, marginal at ensuring data being used has been correctly validated and updated. 

How confident are you that the data you’re using is up to date and tracking correctly to your business assumptions? 

Invalid data leads to incorrect analysis. And decisions based on bad data or bad analysis is worse than useless, it can be downright dangerous. 

BI Tools May Deliver Bad Data

If not managed correctly, data issues common with BI tools include:

  • Incorrect data
  • Missing data
  • Duplicated data
  • Incomplete data
  • Delayed data


How your BI tool fetches and selects data can be a very complex process, and there’s often a distinct lack of transparency. Conflicts between reports, questions as to which report is right, and a resulting lack of trust can make the BI tool frustratingly useless to recruitment professionals trying to become more data driven.

In many cases, this happens because the people running the BI tool aren’t experienced specifically with recruitment metrics and definitions, and may assign not just their own names to types of data and metrics, but their own formulas as well, that bear no resemblance to what HR professionals are looking for. This can cause significant confusion for the end user, who ends up with reports that aren’t consistent and don’t match their own internal tracking system.

Crosschq's Single Source BI Data for Talent Acquisition

Using a BI tool by itself means a lot of going back and forth trying to figure out what metrics are important to HR/recruitment. There's a fair amount of complexity around this, and using a BI tool on its own means tremendous amounts of time wasted just getting clear on: 

  • What names and definitions are used for each metric
  • What data should be used to calculate each metric
  • How metrics should be measured
  • How to track key metrics over time
  • How to accurately segment & filter these metrics

Crosschq is delivered pre-packaged, meaning the data sources, validation, metrics, and analysis parameters are already set up to specific HR needs. 

Crosschq has implemented and customized metrics, reports and dashboards across hundreds of clients, which means all of the QA legwork is already done for you when it comes to ATS data setup and metrics. We’ve built out a trusted HR intelligence platform, calculating everything you need to know from cost per hire to interview hours per hire or withdrawal rates for different genders at each stage (for example). 

Think of the time saved with our pre-built reports. The cost of the platform can be negligible compared to the amount of time saved as well as, the associated lower costs of recruitment that come from decisions made based on trustworthy data and metrics.

Crosschq's HR Business Intelligence Data Features:

  • A birds eye view of your recruitment pipeline
  • Consistency across metrics being tracked
  • Data that is validated and updated in real time
  • A single source of truth everyone can trust
  • Over 200+ pre-built reports to answer all HR process questions
  • Drag and drop dashboards for fast customization
  • A user friendly experience for those of us with lower data literacy


Instead of having to ask the BI team for report builds, waiting for the reports, then wondering if those reports are even accurate or up-to-date, HR and recruitment leaders can depend on the information they get from Crosschq, and share easy-to-understand reporting across the organization for everything related to recruitment or HR.

Your CFO Doesn't Want Duplicative BI Tools

It can be challenging to get your CFO to pull the trigger on another investment if they think what they have already is capable of getting the job done.

“Our BI tool already provides an executive HR dashboard with top metrics. 

Why do we need yet another tool?”

Research has shown time and again that when the data is presented correctly, allowing for data-backed decisions to improve HR processes, there is a direct impact on the business bottom-line. The CFO gets this, but understandably they don’t want to pay more for another tool if they don’t have to. 

The Financial Impact of Improved Quality of Hire


More revenue per employee 

The right managers:
Identifying those who can manage effectively and produce a high performing team.1

More revenue per employee 

Accelerated performance due to better team fit, increased collaboration, and continued development.2

more productive

Higher Quality of Hire employees can prove 400% more productive than a low performing employee.3

or more of the employee’s 

Fewer mis-hires can save as much as 200% or more of the employee’s annual salary. 4

higher earnings per share (ESP)

higher revenue per employee. 

Companies that focus on engaging their workforces see a 147% higher earnings per share (ESP) and an 18% higher revenue per employee. 5 6


Human capital, although already one of the most expensive components of running a business, it is arguably also one of the most important and valuable assets of the company, and a key competitive advantage. The right improvements (higher Quality of Hire, higher retention, increased productivity, lower cost per hire), can have a major impact on the company’s bottom line. 

Regardless, HR is not being provided with the best tools and the right data to satisfy the Good Data list above. After all, if nearly half of all businesses are failing to utilize HR analytics2, it’s a fair chance you’re on that list. 

The question to ask is this: Do the existing executive-level dashboards from your BI tool provide HR reporting and insights that are actionable and impactful? Is HR able to use the existing BI tool to solve their process challenges?

BI  reports aren’t designed to help recruiters get things done day-to-day and definitely do not help HR and talent acquisition leaders get through meetings efficiently or deliver the deep-level, real-time data required to make data-driven hiring decisions. 

Why Crosschq Is Still Needed Even If You Have HR-focused Business Intelligence

In contrast to HR metrics available from BI, Crosschq is a tool that improves efficiency and ROI by providing on-demand data for every HR decision and application, as well as giving end users agility: access and editing power. (Not to mention sharing power!)

If your organization is depending solely on BI, you may constantly be getting reports and dashboards that your manager or someone else requested from the BI tool team. These usually aren’t very actionable and aren’t what you need for your specific role and analysis. 

You also aren’t likely to be given access to edit or create reports yourself, because of the way BI tools are set up. Every new user incurs a new subscription charge, which means every person within the organization with access costs more money. (And as many of us know first-hand, even if you’re given access, BI tools have a steep learning curve due to their complexity.)

This leads to BI tools being accessible only by an elite few, who may have little or no understanding of the needs of the HR and recruiting departments. If you request a specific type of report, you can be denied or end up waiting days or weeks. Talk about the opposite of agility. 

In the first case, you’re out of luck. In the second, you’re probably still out of luck, because by the time you get the report the data is outdated. The report might not even be what you were looking for at all anyway, because of differences or intricacies in how metrics are defined.

Crosschq's improved flexibility for human resources business intelligence.

One Crosschq client (a well-known, public-facing tech company with more than 5,000 employees) was facing this enormous set of issues.Their end users were never able to actually edit and thus use the reports generated by BI. 

With Crosschq’s unlimited users and easy to understand interface, the client jumped into generating 20 fit-for-purpose dashboards, and completely reimagined what reporting looked like for their HR and recruiting divisions. It was a game-changer to say the least. And proving the ROI on the additional investment in Crosschq’s platform was easy as 1,2,3.  

In the end, Crosschq can absolutely exist alongside your BI tool. Some clients use the BI reports to deliver executive level top line metrics, or complex reporting specific to other departments. Crosschq provides executive dashboards of course related to hiring insights, but also provides the level of detail and drill-down information to run the hiring team from top to bottom.

Crosschq's HR Intelligence vs a Stand-Alone BI Tool 

In addition to actually giving HR and recruiting leaders what they need to do their job and make data driven decisions, Crosschq delivers even more advantages when paired with an existing BI tool.

If you’re still having to fight for Crosschq because the CFO is reluctant to approve the cost of a new tool on top of the organization’s acquired BI tool, it’s critical to make your case in terms that align with business goals.

True Cost Savings on Your BI Tool Alone

If the CFO asks why the BI tool can’t simply be made more functional so it meets HR and recruiting pipeline needs, the answer is simple: it’s prohibitively expensive. Any time new factors are added like a new department, new field, or a metric for tracking (it happens more than you think), it takes the organization’s BI analysts a lot of time to update the tool. This is not just time spent, but cycle time as well, as the team already has an ever increasing backlog. These delays in timing can lead to significant intangible costs due to lack of agility, the need for specific data and metrics to make decisions is most relevant at the time of request, not in the weeks and months following.  

Whether you’re asking the BI team to start importing new data or adjust how specific data metrics in the database are calculated for HR, there’s significant upkeep and continuous building that needs to occur. Maintaining and updating the BI tool can quickly turn into a cost sink.(Something the company may not be ready to admit or address, but true nonetheless.)

Crosschq is an additional cost, it’s true, but its ease of use and ready-to-go functionality means your HR team and recruiters can use it out of the box. They can build their own reports, track the metrics that are important to them, and improve their ability to make data driven decisions - all without tasking your BI analysts. 

Real-Time Data for HR Business Intelligence

It could be generous to say that most BI tools never have more than a 24-hour delay related to any changes made in the system or the reports. It depends on the system, settings and management team. In addition to delays in data syncs, unfortunately, BI tools can update randomly, and end users won’t have any idea that the data they are looking at is old, or understand why reports don’t line up. Not only that, there could be data hygiene issues, such as poor utilization of the tool, orphaned records, or other situations that throw metrics off. Once those are identified and corrected, waiting 24 hours or for an overnight load means that new changes have likely happened and re-validating has to start over from scratch.

Crosschq data is delivered in real time, and updates occur instantly and simultaneously across the Crosschq overlay and your ATS. This makes Crosschq your dependable single source of truth, and supports real-time decision-making for recruiters and hiring managers. 

With Crosschq, reporting for HR and recruitment jumps to a new level, with data becoming not only useful and relevant, but customizable. You’ll be able to get customized data reports directly into the right hands whenever needed.   

Self-Serve Report Building Using HR Business Analytics

Being a data-driven company means leaders for every department show up for every meeting with customized reports and/or dashboards. However, even if an HR manager or recruiter is given access to a BI tool, the learning curve can be brutal. 

The system is unlikely to be user-friendly for non-analyst personnel, and trying to build useful reports can end up being an impossible chance for most recruiters or HR staff, who would have to commit to learning an entire system, likely on their own time.

The drag-and-drop, chart level filtering, and customization functionality of Crosschq makes it easy for reports and charts to be built out quickly and in a format that is accessible to everyone in the company. Running off to a meeting where you’ll be asked “How is hiring going?” For once compiling reports will be quick and accurate. 

Complex Calculations Customized For HR BI Needs

With a BI tool, if you want HR- or recruitment-specific metrics like conversion rates or withdrawal rates, you’ll have to manually build these in the BI tool with full knowledge of not just the existing database, but how the ATS interprets and calculates all these formulas.

As mentioned above, that’s unrealistic for most HR and recruitment leaders. However, all of the metrics that are needed by talent acquisition specialists and HR are already present in Crosschq. There’s no need to teach yourself a new system; Crosschq has it all figured out and you’ll be able to basically plug and play.  

BI Data Sharing and Permissions For Company Discretion

Even if your organization is shelling out big bucks for multiple users to be added to a BI tool subscription, that’s not necessarily a good thing. In addition to the knowledge and skill required to use BI effectively, there’s also a matter of discretion.

With a BI tool, every user will typically have access to the same data. This means  data can be exposed that you don't necessarily want everyone to see. However, restricting visibility on a case by case basis can be almost impossible, if not just unpredictable.

For example, you could be hiring a new COO, but you don’t want the entire company to know about it. Keeping a single role or specific candidates’ data private is very complex and you can't always do it in a BI tool. That report built for HR may show everyone who sees it exactly which roles are open, regardless of permissions.

In contrast, Crosschq makes it easier to share and see data across a large user set, without being concerned with privacy or confidentiality of personal or company data. This is possible through syncs directly to your ATS, allowing for highly customized sharing and permissions options that keep sensitive information under wraps, while still letting your entire company leverage Crosschq as needed.

Why Crosschq Is Worth the Additional Investment vs Conventional BI Tools

With Crosschq, everything runs more smoothly and productively. Your recruiters and HR people are able to communicate better, work more efficiently and collaboratively, and make decisions based on real-time data in their hands, whether it’s smarter hiring decisions or necessary pipeline changes. 

At the end of the day, it’s not a question of Crosschq vs. BI that is on the table. It’s the solution of existing BI + Crosschq that will make the biggest, most positive difference to your organization and its business goals. 

Talk to one of our recruiting specialists today about a free demonstration.


1, 2, 6  Gallup: To Win With Natural Talent Go For Additive Effects
McKinsey: Attracting and Retaining the Right Talent
4  Culture Amp: Understand and calculating the cost of employee turnover
5  Harvard Business Review: Why Good Managers are So Rare

Chris Drake

by Chris Drake

Crosschq, Head of Data

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