It’s the time of year when many articles are written predicting trends in the year to come. The Human Resources field is not immune to this phenomenon. The term “big data” has become a recent buzzword although it has been used in many areas of business for a long time. What is new is the term is used substantially more in the area of human resources and is becoming an emerging trend. Big data refers to using large amounts of data from many sources to analyze and solve business issues. In a recent survey of CEOs’ by CareerBuilder, 90% of the respondents indicated that being proficient in analytics is important for HR leaders. Clearly, this has become a significant issue for overall business leaders.
There is no doubt that using big data in human resources can be very beneficial for an organization. The issue though is that having data by itself does not solve business problems. If the right questions are not asked, resources using the data collected data may not obtain an appropriate return on their investment. Before human resources or other business leaders embark on a big data project, they should be taking the time to determine what problem they are trying to solve and then determine creative ways that big data would allow them to do the right analysis.
The following steps may allow for an appropriate entry into the world of big data and using e analytical tools properly for solving human resources issues.
Determine the business/human resources problem. An example may be increased employee turnover resulting in lower productivity and increased hiring costs.
Identify the key types of data and metrics that can help determine the cause or help define the issue. Try and determine data that may be readily accessible and/or data that may normally not be readily accessible but could shed further light on the problem.
Analyze the data appropriately. Be creative in analyzing the data and get additional assistance if necessary to help with interpretation.
Develop a process to effectively communicate and share the findings with stakeholders.
Once these steps are completed, appropriate solutions can be developed to solve problems and improve business performance. Using big data to solve problems can be an extremely effective tool, but it can also lead to the unnecessary collection of data and wasted resources if not used effectively.