HR still struggles with big data. It's no surprise — according to HRM Canada, more than 80 percent of organizations lack effective HR analytics capabilities. For many businesses, this stems from concern that new solutions lack the depth and breadth needed to reliably inform HR needs. In fact, trends in big data are driving a new era of data collection, analysis and measurement that allows unprecedented access to the inner workings of corporate HR.

Measuring Up

HR pros are familiar with common "people" metrics such as salary data, benefits analysis and corporate tenure. But it's now possible to mine big data for the most valuable HR metric — context. For example, by combining data about current employee salaries with information about current job role, performance and employment history it's possible to detect warning signs that may indicate a desire to seek employment elsewhere. It's no longer a question of "Can you measure that? But a query about how long it takes firms to get on board and leverage people analytics to inform corporate strategy. Wait too long, and you're behind the curve.

Drilling Down

Of course, it's one thing to recognize the value of measurement trends in big data and another to effectively implement collection, correlation and causation strategies. Think of it like this — valuable, contextual HR data already exists, waiting to be collected and measured, as shared in the Better Decisions Start With HR Insights guide, it's easy to get "snapshots" of people data instead of the big picture. Turning data into a competitive advantage means avoiding the five common pitfalls of HR analytics and embracing tools that can effectively curate this data, identify key areas of interest and combine a variety of measurements to produce actionable results.

Can you measure that? Absolutely — thanks to evolving analytics, you can measure just about anything. But you can also outsmart and outmaneuver the competition by moving beyond the raw data — by finding ways to use data-driven decision-making to empower business impact.

To see what the three-step success model is for turning people data into business impact, check out the Better decisions start with HR insightsguide

Tags: Innovation big data