Dancing With Big Data: Bryan Wempen Discusses the Findings From his New Book
Using big data to improve decision-making has been gaining momentum as one of the foremost business challenges today’s human resources leaders are trying to solve. Author, speaker, and Mobile Assessment CEO Bryan Wempen shed some light on this topic in his new book, Dancing with Big Data: Conversations with the Experts.
He shared his interviews with leaders from Facebook, Jibe, HP, Echovate, eQuest, Quantum Workplace, Simply Measured, Modern Survey, Glassdoor, and many more companies, all discussing their experiences with big data, how it applies to the HR function, and where the future of data science is heading.
We recently got a chance to catch up with Bryan, and were able to ask him a few questions about his findings (below). Don’t forget to check out the new book here.
DDR: Having spoken with fifteen distinguished leaders from across the HR field on the topic of big data, what were some of the common themes that surfaced?
Bryan Wempen: There are definitely themes that rose to the top:
- Start with small-to-medium sized data until you get a better understanding of big data and analysis that will support your HR function.
- Partner with someone else in the business outside of HR. HR can live in a silo and be too close to the data.
- Be careful of the data. It can surprise you by taking you down an incorrect path.
In your research, what jumped out as the most surprising finding about big data in HR?
It’s very, very early in HR using Big Data. In fact outside of very large organizations, very few HR teams even have access to any data sets large enough to be considered Big Data.
What do you think it’s going to take for us to see more widespread adoption of big data analytics solutions in HR?
HR needs a lot more people in the role that have been trained in analysis and working with large data sets in general. This brings the ownership of the data analysis back home to HR.
Of all the HR functions, in which area do you think big data will have the most immediate impact? And why?
I’m 50/50 on the impact area. Recruiting and workforce management both have huge opportunities to be more predictive in their decisions, mainly because of external data availability to mashup and crunch the scenarios. Both areas can map directly into the revenue and profit impact to the company.
What advice can you give HR leaders who want to start using big data to support decision-making, but have no idea where to start?
Spend the time figuring out what outcomes you’re setting as your goal. This gives you a place to go with the data, at least to start.
In the future, how do you think the average recruiters’ skillset will change as analytics become more prevalent and talent acquisition in general becomes more data-driven?
For sure I see more technology-savvy recruiters needed to use the data tools, as well as to understand more in-depth what the data is telling their organizations.
Again, you can learn more about Bryan’s new book here.
The first step toward making any data-driven decisions is to get a better understanding of analytics in recruiting in general. To learn more read our whitepaper, Analytics in Talent Acquisition: The Hype, the Reality, and the Future.