When Big Data is used for Human Resource purposes, it is known as People Analytics, HR Analytics and Workforce Management Analytics. Managers of HR departments can benefit tremendously from the data that’s available to them. The data can help gain new insights, find patterns and can support, in a very accurate way, making strategic decisions.
Most companies still approach workforce planning as an annual exercise in which personnel spending is managed as a cost without considering the skills or talent needed to meet business objectives. HR and business units have little insight into whether the number of employees they have, or their capabilities, are sufficient to achieve revenue and other goals. And they are aware of the consequences. A recent survey (Harvard Business review, 2015) found that for an overwhelming majority of respondents, inadequate workforce planning has prevented them from meeting business goals.
Companies already have plenty of useful workforce data distributed across business functions. Ideally, they would leverage this data, connect and analyse it to understand the current state of their workforce, and use it to inform discussions about the talent needed to meet business objectives. Advanced workforce planning includes understanding costs and hiring trends and attrition, as well as the economic and business factors that drive them, and using this information to model scenarios to determine which are optimal for achieving objectives.