It seems you can’t open a newspaper or journal these days, without reading about the topic of ‘big data’. But does big data present a raft of opportunities for HR and payroll professionals, or are they quite right to be scared stiff? Andy Court, Cascade HR’s head of marketing shares his views…

Perhaps once something that you would only associate with the likes of Google and IBM, big data is now a commonly cited term within the ordinary business world. This reflects the growing volume, velocity and variety of information we now have at our fingertips. Never before have we been presented with the opportunity to gain this level of analytical insight into the organisations within which we operate.

It must be said however that the harnessing of data as a strategic business tool is not a new concept. Since the very birth of Cascade we have been talking about the importance of capturing, interpreting and utilising accurate, relevant data, to better care for staff, aid decision making and facilitate growth. But we’ve also said all along, that data is only as good as the processes that put it to good use and the people that manage such processes.

For metrics to be meaningful they must have value in an organisation. In our industry, they therefore need to form part of a wider HR strategy, so that we glean the insight and evidence that we are looking for, and we instigate change or improvements as a result. That’s because data in isolation, especially in huge quantities, cannot transform your organisation. If we do nothing with data, we are back to the days of being swamped by what are effectively oversized electronic filing cabinets.  

And this is my only real fear for ‘big data’ in the modern business environment. So many companies, large and small, with vast or relatively miniscule amounts of information, are in danger of overlooking the value of their data. Why? Because as yet they don’t have the systems in place to extract anything meaningful from such metrics.

This is why, as a HR and payroll software supplier, we have remained committed to developing proactive, intuitive, easy to use technology which:

–          Facilitates data capture on a company-wide level

–          Aids the formulation of best practice procedures

–          Proactively prompts  the right actions to be taken by the right people at the right time

–          Creates insightful reports with the click of a button

–          Helps to identify when data becomes outdated or no longer relevant

–          Identifies trends and opportunities

–          Aids presentation of this data at board level

–          Reiterates to everyone involved the importance of data

–          Helps to ensure the proficient use of data, even by HR professionals without an aptitude for analytics

–          Stimulates change and business evolution…

…And the list goes on! We want to ensure our clients are equipped to handle big data, and come to think of it, most other types of data too!

The topic of big data is here to stay, and as the name suggests, it’s not a small concept that can be assessed in only one article. We will therefore be adding more to this commentary, from different members of the Cascade team, as the months unfold.

If you think our HR software can help you get a better grip on your personnel data, then please contact us on 0113 255 4115, email [email protected] or complete our enquiry form and we’ll be in touch.