McKinsey & Company’s report on Big Data puts it in sharp context:
“The ability to store, aggregate, and combine data and then use the results to perform deep analyses has become ever more accessible as trends such as Moore’s Law in computing, its equivalent in digital storage, and cloud computing continue to lower costs and other technology barriers. For less than $600, an individual can purchase a disk drive with the capacity to store all of the world’s music. The means to extract insight from data are also markedly improving as software available to apply increasingly sophisticated techniques combines with growing computing horsepower. Further, the ability to generate, communicate, share, and access data has been revolutionized by the increasing number of people, devices, and sensors that are now connected by digital networks.”
Big Data is everywhere, and as Aberdeen Group’s recent research brief makes clear, it’s at the center of discussion in issues relating to talent and human resources. Companies want to run more effectively and efficiently. To make this happen, an organization must not only gather relevant employee data, but integrate and correlate it in meaningful ways, then present it to the business in a timely manner.
Many data management solutions exist, and organizations should weigh their specific needs and budget requirements when selecting one. According to the Aberdeen report, several key technology groups deserve special consideration due to their strong correlation with the performance benefits of speed, satisfaction, and scale.
The study shows that organizations with the highest level of data integration were much more likely to adopt the following technologies than their peers:
- Business intelligence platforms
- Data quality tools
- Data enrichment tools
- Master data management systems
Aberdeen asserts that HR can become a hub of strategic insight for the organization by taking on the challenge of Big Data. When doing so, HR needs to keep these points in mind:
- Cast a wide net. Research shows that while including more data increases a project’s complexity, it also improves a project’s results. Efforts with too narrow a scope are limiting their usefulness from the get-go.
- Involve stakeholders. Unless a solution delivers information the business needs, in a way they can use it and fast enough to be relevant, the investment will be wasted. Involve stakeholders to know what the business needs, and include the right data to deliver quality results that become part of how the business runs.
- Use the right tools. Big Data can bring big complexity, but the right tools can alleviate the pain associated with it.
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