Big Data in HR: Are You Embracing It Already?

 James Warner
  Jun 06, 2018

With the exponentially growing amount of data crowding the information space, it is becoming increasingly difficult for companies to sort through the masses of data, analyze and interpret it. But thanks to big data, it has now become possible to analyze the data easily, reach a proper conclusion and use it to reinforce and supplement the business.

Big data has been growing tremendously that it is projected to reach 44 trillion gigabytes by 2020 as many companies are widely employing big data to support their business goals or department goals. One such much-needed area where big data could be a make a huge difference is the Human Resources (HR).

From focusing on employee engagement, working on retention metrics, inducting new talent to analyzing the KPIs, HR professionals work with data as much as they work with people. Big data simplifies the complications and helps HR professionals to analyze and reach an effective interpretation of the data.

Is your company too using big data for any of these applications?

If not, then you are probably wasting too much time trying to handle all the data manually. To some of the most debatable and problematic questions an HR professional faces, here are some of the solutions big data can provide.

Having problems with employee retention?

With attractive pay scales and job opportunities, it is becoming more difficult to retain the employees. Big data can help solve this by studying employee’s employment history, payroll details, their job profiles, job performance, data of past employees to analyze employees and find out those who are the most probable persons to leave their jobs, sometimes even before the employee decides about it!

According to Harvard Business Review, Credit Suisse, a multinational investment bank and financial services company, was able to use big data to calculate who is most likely to quit their jobs. With the data in hand, they offered new career roles to those employees even before they gave their resignation which shocked the employees yet made them feel happy and valued that the company was ready to go an extra mile to make the employees stay with the company.

Xerox was able to use big data to find out why employees quit as well as stay with the organization and was able to reduce their attrition rate by 20% from the findings during a trial period of 6 months.

Companies have been proactively employing advanced methods to use big data to implement innovative methods to increase the rate of employee retention. Whether it is higher pay scale, promotions, better job profile, or improved health policies, companies can effectively know what their employees want.

Wondering how to improve employee productivity?

Analyzing performance metrics has been a long-standing use of big data to improve workplace culture and productivity. But choosing the right approach to use the data is where some companies slack and others bring in results. Companies can stay connected with how the employees are by properly analyzing data. The power of right analysis of data is such that, Target, one of the biggest retail chains, was able to even predict when a customer was pregnant!

A call center with Bank of America was able to conclude, in a three months period of analyzing data, that allowing certain employees to take breaks together improved their productivity. When this was incorporated, there was a 15 to 20% increase in the productivity of the employees.

Big data can monitor the profile activities, combine employee assessments and surveys, and can point the reasons to why a group of employees are losing productivity. It can help narrow down the suggestions by which a few minor changes could help employees to work better in a lesser time. Also, it can help the employers to analyze the steps they can take from their side to help improve their productivity. One can also use the results from analysis to identify the gaps in the skills of employees and suggest suitable training which could improve their productivity substantially.

Want to recruit the best talent?

The main notion of recruitment is to attract the right kind of people according to your business needs who will also stick longer. It is hard to pick people who would definitely be the correct match for the organization. Many of the HR professionals would probably admit that the final pool of people selected from the initial similar group of candidates is majorly based on a gut feeling. In fact, 52% of talent acquisition leaders state that screening candidates from the big bunch of applications is the hardest part of recruitment process.

Big data sources data from social media, data from current and past employees from the organization, profile-specific KPIs and use advanced statistics to analyze how the candidate can impact the brand or the organization. It can analyze if the competencies the candidate possess are in line with the business needs and the profile description. In times when a position needs to be filled in a short time, big data can analyze past employee performance, departmental statistics and competencies through employee assessments to predict more efficiently with the hiring process.

If you have not been employing these rewarding applications of big data in HR, it is time to do it now!

Big Data in HR: Are You Embracing It Already?

James Warner

James Warner : Business Intelligence Analyst as well as Experienced programmer and software developer with Excellent knowledge on Hadoop and Big data analysis at

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