What Does Big Data Mean?Big data is a field of study that focuses on large and diverse sets of accumulated information that grows at ever-increasing rates within an organization. It’s analytics serves to extract those large stores of information in a systematic and ideally more meaningful way than is possible through traditional means, such as manual data processing or previous iterations of application software. The many fields within big data are complex. The plethora of information features multiple fields or columns, sets and subsets, and complicated mazes of material. Mining this data on your own leaves too much room for errors and false discoveries that lead nowhere. With the analytics in the mix, you can transform your large stores of data through capture, storage, analysis, search, transfer, sharing, visualization, querying and much more. For instance, your organization might have several years’ worth of collected data on candidates and past personnel with no means of mining that information. Most search functions can’t effectively navigate the amount of data that businesses acquire today. If you could access that treasure trove, it could help you make better hiring decisions today and in the future.
The Four Vs of Big DataThere are four key elements that help define and embody the role of big data in human resources:
- Volume: Big data is big. It’s massive, actually, as in terabytes and petabytes. Think of it as having millions of cells in a spreadsheet. How mind-boggling would that be when trying to extract value and meaning from that information? Too much for any one person to handle.
- Velocity: No data piece is static; it has an individual pace and momentum. You continually accumulate new data and transfer or delete old data within your system. Big data analytics can help you trace its flow.
- Variety: Businesses collect data in various forms, including structured data that fits into neat rows and columns and unstructured data that is often embedded in reports and emails.
- Veracity: All information must be reliable and trustworthy. When dealing with this data, you quickly realize how messy things can become without proper data analysis. You cannot necessarily count on perfect accuracy and quality in large data sets in their raw state. Big data analytics relies on the data cleaning process to nullify the inevitable errors within large data sets.
What Is the Connection Between Data and HR?Now that you have a better understanding of big data in general, you might wonder about the data analytics in human resources management and how it might benefit your organization. Big data has become a critical tool in recruiting, hiring, onboarding, training, professional development, employee performance, compensation and reducing turnover. Companies that leverage the data analytics can discover information about their corporate cultures and subcultures to make smarter and better decisions that help employees at every step, from initial candidate status to promotion and development.
What Questions Can Big Data Answer?As you explore the bold new world of big data and its partnership with HR, you might wonder what questions it can answer that your team cannot. You might muse as to why can’t you glean the same information with the use of your system’s search function. Here are a few questions that big data analytics can answer quickly and effectively:
- How well will a candidate fit into my organizational culture?Big data analytics provides information to better assess prospective candidates and new hires. This can help you identify potential leaders who can drive change, improve productivity, save money and boost profits.
- Is your favored candidate a good fit for the position in question?A hiring manager often struggles to balance right-brain and left-brain thinking, a gut feeling with reason obtained through data. Big data analytics can serve as an equalizer, offering a data-driven way to answer this essential question based on various factors, including a self-assessment tool.
- How can big data analytics help improve the onboarding process?More companies are using onboarding surveys to improve and streamline the onboarding process.
Essential Impacts of Data in Talent ManagementBig data empowers you to make decisions backed by massive stores of well-organized information at your fingertips, but you might want to see concrete examples. Here are a few ways that big data could improve professional life for your HR team:
- Big data can help you uncover valuable insights that you can use to keep employees happier, thus improving retention and reducing expensive turnover.
- It also allows you to identify workforce risks to avoid problems that might lead to resignation or termination.
- Data culture analytics can forecast employees’ potential for success in their position and within your corporate culture.