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Big data and Human Resources


Most people have heard about big data but many do not realise the impact that it’s having on enabling Human Resources to make intellectual business decisions.

Data is critical to making smart business decisions and Companies are beginning to analyse their employee data in much more detail to answer a variety of critical questions.

So how will data help improve staff retention?

It’s time consuming and costly to replace an experienced employee and most discussions are eluding to the fact that it costs a colossal one third of the new hire’s salary (including advertising, interviewing and training).

Collecting data on an employees’ performance can help with monitoring productivity, carrying out successful appraisals and recognising employee needs made up of workload, working hours and training needs not to mention health or stress issues. 


An overall view of this data can give you far more insight into what is going on than a single employee appraisal.  For example it may be apparent that all full time shift workers in a warehouse have a much higher Bradford factor and lower retention rate than other departments in the company:  Having a high level view of this data can help a business to understand what changes need to happen for the business to improve these vital figures. This could include more breaks, different shift patterns or simply just a change in Line Manager.

Can the data help into giving some interpretation into low productivity figures? 

Data analysis of attendance records will enable you to look at emerging trends to measure the health of the company.  This includes poor attendance, staff turnover and would also seem to determine employee engagement levels.  It can let you identify areas for learning and training and to recognise any needs to improve staff retention. 

When looking at a high level view of attendance a recent client found a very slow start to productivity from new starters and a high level of staff turnover within the first 6 months of employment.  Without data analysis this may not have been so prominent and therefore helped them review their whole induction process to ensure full training and engagement of new starters.  After reviewing the process the company has reported a 20% uplift in their productivity and a dramatic drop in retention rate.

How do we use data to give us an advantage in planning and leading our business in the future?

Employee relations and data analysis also points us at succession planning, talent management plans and future succession planning.  Rewarding people who succeed and motivating people who are high potentials is fulfilling for the employee and advantageous for the employer.

Future succession planning is vital in ensuring the likelihood of staff leaving (or retiring) or getting promoted and the skill sets needed to replace them.

But if you’re not making the most of data yet, you’re not alone: A large percentage of HR departments aren’t formally monitoring analytics.  There are a number of cloud based HR Management Systems on the market today

Implementing and adopting data analytics effectively ensures using data in employee activity to provide insight into what has been happening in the past, what is happening now and what is likely to happen in the future depending on what behaviour changes.

In the excitement of innovation becoming a top business strategy, HR is thinking more creatively than ever to create a world of clever adaptation of their ways of working.

For more information about our Online HR Software, Workplaceone, then please contact us for a demonstration.