Look at this title, am I proclaiming that Cloud Computing is dead, over, kaput? HARDLY, it is only just beginning and will be the delivery mechanism for most of our HR and Talent Management technology for the next few decades. When I say “Get your Head Out of the Clouds”, it is a nice way to say “Get Your Head Out of How Applications Are Delivered and Into How To Use The Application To Drive Value”. This value doesn’t come from going “live” on a cloud solution, this comes in USING THE DATA!
OK, it’s official. I’m calling it right now. I am betting “Big Data” will unseat “Cloud Computing” as the top buzzword in 2012 that will get HR people talking. Any takers?
Did you know that most organizations utilize less than 5% of available data? The rest has been too costly to get at or effectively make use of. Enter “Big Data” – new tools and techniques to allow companies to affordably exploit the other 95%.
In order to compete, innovate, and grow, many organizations need the ability to handle and analyze increasingly large data sets.
According to some analysts, data has now become as important to the success of the business as labor and capital.
To capitalize on the Big Data tools making their way into HR technology, you’ll need to start thinking much more strategically (there’s that word again) about your organization’s talent data. I recently wrote about getting down and dirty with your data, and the importance of data governance.
But the idea of Big Data takes us up out of the dirt and up on the mountain top. The explosive demand for data from all areas of the enterprise will bring about an increased focus on HR’s ability to deliver relevant workforce data to support strategic decision-making.
I believe this will require a new function (and possibly new role) within HR that is solely responsible for defining how the organization’s workforce data will be captured, utilized, the desired outcomes, and key metrics for the enterprise.
HR functions today have approximately 10000% more data than they had only 3-5 years ago based on new capabilities within their Core HR solutions, Talent Management solutions, other internal data storage and tracking tools (shadow systems) and social media tools such LinkedIn, Yammer, Facebook, etc. Even though most HR technology vendors are scrambling to improve “Big Data” integration and analytical tools, someone still has to know and plan as to how it all will fit together and how it will be used.
Think about all of the HR transactional data that is now in digital form. We have detailed information on almost every employee interaction from the time they begin poking around our career portal until we hit “save” on their exit interview. This is an example of the 95% that we will be able to structure and analyze with Big Data tools.
If you’re interested in learning more, the McKinsey Global Institute published a comprehensive study in June of this year entitled, “Big data: The next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity.” It’s a little over 150 pages, but might worth your time. I found this excerpt from the report to be particularly poignant for HR:
“There will be a shortage of talent necessary for organizations to take advantage of big data. By 2018, the United States alone could face a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills as well as 1.5 million managers and analysts with the know-how to use the analysis of big data to make effective decisions.”
I hope they aren’t talking about you and your organization. Time to prepare!
Another infusion of knowledge…