Once upon a time every document was printed out and filed for future reference. The size of these filing cabinets and the files themselves have grown with the size of the organizations. With the advent of offsite centers, retrieving files became the next buzzword.
Cloud-based technologies and ERP applications changed the filing systems in companies. They now have the ability to utilize and store much more data at a mere fraction of the earlier resource consumption including manpower.
The Big Data Evolution
Big Data Analytics has become the latest storm to invade the technological world. The basis of Big Data has not changed very much from its predecessor. The only change that has taken place seems to be that through the use of the technology, the sources from which data can be collected at the same time have increased manifold.
Studies suggest that over 90% of data that exists today was created in the past two years alone. Also, the study suggested that every day we generate around two quintillion data bytes. Based on this huge amounts of data generated, the HR space has definitely changed. Data and technology is now completely integrated into the HR domain. HR professionals are benefitting from the deeper insight that they gain from a combination of unstructured and structured data.
What does big data change?
Big Data in the HR domain is going to be a market charger according to industry experts. The traditional skill set that HR professionals have hitherto prided themselves on will not sustain Big Data changes. Skills like analytics, reporting and cleansing are required to manage this domain. Companies are identifying new recruits with these talents to bring on board the HR team.
Companies are required to tap into these Big Data Analytics as it is the quickest way for the CEOs to get ‘Big Insights’ into their own organizations. The HR professionals will be able to deliver much better insights into the businesses that they support through the use of HR big data.
HR has always struggled with representing a clear return on investment. Through the use of technology and data, the HR department will finally be able to show a clear return on investment, namely their insight that is valuable to the leaders of the business.
The ideal scenario of HR data and Finance working alongside each other in the boardroom is not a distant reality anymore. The domain is soon going to join the coveted league of information that has the ability to truly affect exciting innovation in the business. The knowledge of the workforce is coming into its own and becoming a differentiator in the marketplace.
Data in the Lifecycle of HR
When data enters the picture, categories soon follow. There is a clear categorization of data in this case as well. The categories are listed below.
- Person data – Every individual will have specific data about themselves including name, relationship with the organization, and address amidst other information. The data is owned by the individuals themselves and can be usually changed through the Employee Self-Service. This data should be right from the beginning as it makes sharing it through the organization easier.
- Structural data – This is data that organizes the personnel within an organization and places each person within a defined structure. This data is important as the information assigned to the person depends on their placement in the organization. The job and position data is the most crucial to this tier. The set is also important as it is a means of maintaining global definitions and rules consistently. It is also a basis of reporting and identifying individuals as actors within other business processes or HR or for MI purposes.
- Functional data – The data elements within a very specific Functional Process Area in HR is contained in this set. While this set is built on the data collected from persona and structural data, it gives better information about specific activities that personnel carry out. The set also covers information like payroll information, talent information and benefits information, amidst other similar things.
The standard data processes that apply to all kinds of data also apply to the HR data. As organizations mature and grow, they will likely use this data as a competitive differentiator alongside managing talent.
Data governance is the key to receiving good data. Data ownership is key to consistently receiving good data. As data invades the world of HR, a crystal clear understanding of the personnel and the terrain is crucial.
Using HR data to further business
As big data grows, the globalization of businesses become commonplace and the concepts of Software-as-a-service is being accepted as a norm. Within this dynamic model, HR is positioned to become an innovative game changer, a tool that can hand competitive business advantage to the company owner.