The arrival of big data
Over two quintillion bytes of data are created every day and around 90% of that now in existence was created in the past two years. ‘Big data’ has arrived.
While the word ‘big’ often refers to volume when used in this context, it is also used to describe the variety of data, the speed with which it changes and the value it can bring.
Big data can help you identify trends to inform and drive business change through enhanced reporting, predictive analysis and workforce management.
But a recent study, by research and advisory firm Bersin by Deloitte, found that 4% of companies are now able to perform predictive analytics about their manpower. Meanwhile, professional services giant KPMG suggests that only 15% of business leaders believe HR is providing insightful analytics.
The ability to provide these metrics helps you make decisions about your organisation’s future. So what role does HR have to play in harnessing big data and how can you use it to drive strategy?
Big data as a concept
Although big data is not a new concept, Anthony Bruce – a partner at PwC – says he has observed an increase in the appetite for insight and sources of data, as well as a dramatic evolution in how it is displayed.
“Historical trend data can help predict the flight risk of high performers and the key points at which they might leave,” he says. “So you can approach these highly valued employees and manage that risk more effectively.”
Bruce has observed a desire among HR professionals to combine structured data – for example, from ERP and payroll – and unstructured data such as social media, Software as a Service and surveys.