Big data is by no means a new concept or phenomenon. The decision by organisations to collect large and complex data sets on their customers and users is a well established act. However the correct analysis of this data, so as to leverage its value fully and deliver relevant insight is still a dark art. New research is beginning to shine a light into this dark cave of mass data and uniformed decision making. The traditional analysis of big data, via segmentation and algorithmic mining has been shown to underutilise the information available, thus hiding the most insightful results. The research shows that in order to gain the most value out of their vast collections of data, organisations must look inward first.
Big data and HRRather than focusing on customers and consumers (the traditional focus of big data) HR departments and recruiters are beginning to see real value in turning their eye to the data available on those whom they currently and in the future might employ. Using software and bespoke algorithms some rather fascinating results have been found. Evolv, a recruitment monitoring company, analysed over three million data points from more than 30,000 employees to find that people who complete online job applications using internet browsers that did not come pre-installed on the computer (e.g. Safari on Macs or Internet Explorer on Windows) but instead deliberately installed a different browser such as Firefox or Chrome, performed better in their roles, moved jobs less and in general made more informed decisions. This of course could just be a coincidence; however this is not the only example of interesting results being drawn upon by HR-driven data research. For instance, firms routinely cull job applicants who have a criminal record. But research using big data has strongly suggested that in some job roles, particularly at call-centres, workers with criminal records actually perform better. Likewise, HR departments regularly eliminate candidates who have jumped from job to job, however, counter-intuitively, those which have moved jobs rapidly in the past showed no more propensity to quit quickly than fellow workers that had not.
“Firms routinely cull job applicants who have a criminal record. However research using Big Data has strongly suggested that in some job roles, particularly at call-centres, workers with criminal records actually perform better.”