Big Data Movement

The floodgates have opened up and huge waves of data are now flowing.  Catch some of the waves and leverage the data to boost your HR processes. 

In the last several years, big data has been a big buzz word in the business world.  The revolutions in information technology and the exponential growth of available data have propelled businesses in different industries to make sense of their data, make statistical projections and predictions, and boost their overall business intelligence.  Big data also is flowing in the HR arena.  How HR deals with big data and how it leverages big data will be interesting to monitor. 

Predictive Analytics for HR 

You don’t have to think too far back to remember when was the last time some form of data about your behavior was captured.  Did you buy a cup of coffee this morning?  Did you read the news online?  Did you click on a link to view a youtube video or perhaps an online ad?  Did you take an online survey recently?  Did you book your most recent flight online?  Did you recently apply for a job?  If you have done any of the above, you will notice how easy it is to capture data. 

In the last few years, data analytics has experienced an increased popularity primarily because businesses are realizing that data exists and that data can be used to gain advantage.  Big data, predictive analytics, and the general concept of business intelligence have gained tremendous strategic importance and are now recognized by many business leaders and CIOs to be an integral part of their strategic initiatives.  There has always been an interest in gathering data and making predictions but more recently the term and concept of predictive analytics have dramatically increased in popularity in the business world.  The sciences, as the scientific method outlines, have been really good and methodical about collecting data and making predictions and many of our daily practices have integrated that approach into our daily lives.  But now, with automation, internet, and mobile technology, the collection of data does not always have to be proactively pursued anymore.  Data collection just happens and happens virtually everywhere from a customer purchasing a book on Amazon, an employee leaving, or a baseball hitter striking out.   We now have enough historical data to make fairly accurate predictions on the weather, stock market fluctuations, and almost every aspect of life.  And with the latest developments in information technology, particularly with the automation of many of our daily transactions from sending Email to buying groceries, data collection is happening virtually everywhere and is now an inevitable process.  Data collection is no longer just observing and tallying and it doesn’t even have to be done via survey anymore.  With modern technology, such as the internet, social media, mobile technology, and other electronic gadgets, data collection just happens.  International Data Corporation (IDC) projects the size of all the data in the world to reach 2.7 zettabytes in 2012, that is up 48% from 2011.  Indeed, businesses are now sitting on a huge amount of data that is continuously growing and waiting to be analyzed.

With data becoming widely available and more easily accessible, industries are quick to realize the value of insights that analytics can uncover.  Doing predictive analytics has helped police departments reduce crime, credit card companies detect fraud, companies reduce customer churn rates, and baseball teams win World Series.  And also in HR, with the automation of many HR transactions from recruitment to retirement, data is there waiting to be mined, analyzed, and utilized to ensure that organizations are optimizing the talent they get and that people are performing at their peaks.

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