Why Big Data Will Make or Break the Businesses of the Next Decade

Is your business ready for the next decade? If you’re not embracing big data as part of your business’s human resources functions, then your organization is likely to suffer from stagnation in the near future. Here are three reasons your business may be overlooking the significance of using big data for its HR functions:


1. It seems too complicated.

Some businesses just don’t understand enough about what big data is and how it can help their HR departments. Many HR professionals are also unaware of how big data can help their organization’s hiring, training, and retention efforts.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of tech jargon surrounding big data, and IT specialists sometimes focus on giving non-IT professionals detailed explanations of how the technology works rather than explaining what it will do to improve business.

For example, tech professionals who work with big data may talk about using hadoop tools, but most business people and HR professionals who don't have a technology background are unlikely to understand what hadoop is, let alone how they can use it for HR functions. They may not realize that hadoop allows them to store many extremely large files, and this is more than they could ever store on one computer or even one server.

It's important for tech professionals to focus on explaining how the technology related to big data can help HR, and HR professionals need to resist the temptation to get overwhelmed and check-out at the first mention of unfamiliar technology concepts. Big data is just another tool, albeit a very important tool, for HR success.

2. You're not convinced big data can help you make decisions about people.

Traditionally, businesses have used some very subjective means to make decisions about employees. One example of this is during the hiring process. In the past, HR professionals had to sort through stacks of repetitive resumes and rely on "gut feelings" about candidates in order to make selection decisions. These practices were acceptable in the past, but they're antiquated now.

Big data allows HR professionals to learn more about potential hires through their various social media profiles, applications, online resume databases, and tests. This means that you get the big picture about candidates when you use big data analytics to make hiring decisions.

The options for using big data don't end after the hiring process, though. Once hired, businesses can use talent management software to gather and analyze the data they need to evaluate an individual employee's performance levels.

3. You think that making the investment to use big data isn't worth the cost or effort.

It's tempting to dismiss the use of big data when you don't understand its true value. Unfortunately, some businesses see big data in HR as a fad that will go away with time. If you've fallen into this trap, it's not too late to turn back and show your organization that you can embrace big data analytics just like business professionals working in other departments. Professionals in marketing, finance, and, obviously, technology have already embraced big data. If you're an HR professional, you need to show that you're on top of the latest business developments in your field.

Human Resources departments often struggle to define their role and importance within organizations. Sure, everyone understands why businesses need people to manage the hiring and people functions within organizations, but not all business people understand the value of a successful HR department, let alone the effort and intelligence it takes to manage a business's people functions. Big data may be the human resources profession's answer to, finally, securing a respected and secure function within business.

Imagine going to a staff meeting with hard, tangible statistics to share about hiring, retention, or employee performance. Imagine talking about how you used big data analytics to reach conclusions about these HR functions. That would place you in a great position to show your value within the organization. Wouldn't it?

Don't be so sure to discount the use of big data in your HR department. Just remember: If you're not using big data to make HR decisions, then you're behind the curve. Show your organization that you can lead them into the next decade by embracing big data.

How are you going to use big data to help your organization's business goals?

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