Never mind HR big data – just give me accurate data

Now that the dust has settled on a busy October for Sage People, I’ve been reflecting on the recent focus on HR’s use of big data and analytics. The idea is by combining big data with analytics, new and better business outcomes become possible – by using predictive analytics for HR it might be possible to more accurately determine who the best people are for senior management roles for example.

Advocates suggest that this move will help recruitment and even improve acquisition of talent by selecting new hires where his or her personality maps to the company culture.

My question though for all those talking about it, is whether mid-sized organizations are ready for this? At a time when many HR teams cannot answer simple questions – how many people work for the company – is the HR team excited about this prospect or nervous? Is this big picture goal more of a dream than a reality?

A recent Sage People survey showed that 92% of companies are not getting what they need from their analytics and reporting tools today. Now these people will be expected to undertake advanced analytics on big data. Spreadsheets won’t hack this, nor will traditional skill sets.

HR is changing, as it needs to, to meet the requirements of the modern workforce. But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, we need to address the problems that mid-size organizations currently face such as talent acquisition, managing people, talent retention in addition to the fundamentals – payroll, holiday and so on. Then solve these challenges with a solution that can capture this information, support the modern workforce, and enable HR professionals to be more effective.

Your HR system can be the heart of the organization. When it is, you’ll in turn support the modern workforce, the HR team and start to gain insights that will benefit your entire company and culture.

Back to my question then on whether mid-sized companies are ready for big data HR analytics? I think the answer in most cases is no, but with cloud based HR systems that embrace the modern workforce, I think these companies can be.

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