Big data in HR and the value of human capital in business intelligence

Big data, business intelligence as well as HR analytics are three buzzwords that are indeed frequently talked about. Does one really know what they mean? And what sort of added value do big data and business intelligence bring forth to the field of HR?

What is big data?

Big data is made up of four elements referred to as four “V”

1. Volume: Big Data is big indeed. One is not just referring to gigabytes or about terabytes as well as petabytes. The ‘big’ in big data does represent millions and millions of cells. In fact, it is so large that it wouldn’t even fit in Excel in the initial.

2. Velocity: Big data is not indeed static, it has a certain momentum. It is also constantly collecting newer forms of data

3. Variety: Big data displays certain variety. It is not just a question of nicely structured data, (data that is rather ordered in neat columns as well as rows). One also needs to look into unstructured data (like the data in your average email) as well.

4. Veracity: Big data is indeed messy and cannot always be trusted. Quality as well as accuracy are in fact not always present in a large data. Data cleaning is indeed part of the process of analyzing big data. However, because of the large quantity of data some of these little errors can be nullified. The large quantity of data thus makes up for the decrease in reliability of individual data points.

The fifth value is having access to big data which is no good unless one can make it valuable.

How big data applies to HR

One comes across difference of opinions with regard whether big data does really apply to HR. The answer is: it does.

It much depends. Also, HR professionals are not really data-savvy as the amount of data they work with is limited.

HR has indeed access to a large variety of data. Systems do contain employee data, pay information, engagement scores etc as part of structured data. Things like performance reviews as well as email content can contain interesting information for analysis and they are also at times unstructured.

What is there to know about these 4 aspects?

1. In terms of veracity, HR data is quite often messy and unreliable. Numerous reorganizations, as well as restructuring efforts, do indeed make it hard to keep track of how long someone stayed in a function.

2. The volume of data in HR is quite low. For the average HR professional, a few gigabytes of data are already quite something to reckon with.

3. The velocity of data in HR is also quite low. HR data is usually quite static. Records are generally changed when someone switches functions or when different departments are rather shuffled. The data does remain mostly static.

4. HR data most definitely holds value. When leveraged the right way it can also be made use of to uncover workforce risks, make better people decisions and help in building a competitive advantage for the firm.

Does big data apply to HR?

HR analytics is indeed a way to generate valuable insights into the workforce. This can also be done through the use of datasets that are indeed larger than most HR professionals that have ever worked with. That is the essence of big data in HR.

What is business intelligence?

Business intelligence refers to the application, infrastructure as well as tools, and of course best practices that does enable access to as well as analysis of information in order to improve as well as optimize decisions as well as performance too.

Organizational data is rather quite often stored in different as well as separate systems. These systems do indeed communicate with each other. This also does imply one’s sales data is indeed normally combined with one’s inventory data or even one’s site visitors.

How business intelligence applies to HR

  • Business intelligence can rather also be used for HR data.
  • Business intelligence (BI) tools do help one combine this data.
  • After combining this data, it will be much easier to do three things.
  • B1 tools are made to aggregate, visualize, analyze, and report data.

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