Harnessing the Power of Big Data to Shape HR

Jason_Hanold_Big_DataThe term “big data” has become a buzz word in recent years – different firms from Google to Target have found ways to collect massive troves of information and predict trends, offer new products, and even create new technologies to aid in health care and well-being. Now big data is making its way into the field of Human Resources. With the hope of enabling enterprises to increase revenues and cut costs, new technology firms are working to empower executives with accurate indicators of workforce productivity, true impact and effectiveness of training programs, predictors of workforce attrition, and even the ability to identify potential leaders. And these technology firms believe the answers are hidden in mounds of organized and unorganized data.

Some HR executives will find themselves asking, “what will this do for me?” Like any tool, analytic software is only as useful as the person wielding it. The goals set forth prior to its implementation will shape how your data will be harnessed, and what sorts of information you’ll be able to glean from it. More important than that, however, is the ability to effectively read the data; if the HR department has no one to translate the data and metrics into workable information and solutions, then the software becomes an expensive piece of junk. The software, if used properly, can offer insight into costs and trends such as recruitment costs per hire, new hire failure rates, employee turnaround rates, e-learning abandonment rates, bonus compensation rates.

Technological advancements in an organization come with their own set of costs, and often, unforeseen consequences. In the long term, the organizations that are able to keep the costs of implementation, and effectively train a workforce to utilize the new technology see massive benefits. The more information an HR department has to work with, the more effectively it can provide recommendations to an organization’s top-level executives. Gathering this information can be costly if a department has no effective data interpreters. These interpreters do not come cheap due to their specialized skills and training. However, for smaller organizations looking for solutions to this issue, there are several organizations, such as Cornell Univeristy, the Human Capital Institute, and the Jigsaw Academy, offering courses and certifications in human resources analytics.

It’s imperative for Human Resource departments to shift with trends in ways that fit within their company’s business model and this software may not work for every organization. Yet, the possibilities for the technology to reach Human Resources departments at every business size seems to be realistic in the not-too-distant future, and it’s certainly worth monitoring as the technology advances and becomes more user-friendly.

from Jason Hanold http://ift.tt/1iDaEcJ
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