Volume, Velocity, Variety: Big Data and its 3Vs open up a wide range of opportunities. Even though the HR function cannot yet boast of handling terabytes of data, it has much to gain from professionalizing the management of existing data. It will gain credibility with its interlocutors and monitor better its activities.
Before mentioning Big Data, or even HR Analytics, the issue of data quality, security and availability within and outside the function needs to be addressed. Incomplete data, or worse, inaccurate data, leads nowhere in terms of analysis. Whether the data is buried deep in the servers or barely accessible, it does not meet the recurring needs for HR data from other functions (e.g. purchasing, controlling). As the owner of this data, the HR function must address this structuring issue.
Auditing HR data
Initially, an audit of the existing system helps to establish the mapping of available data, the associated governance, the master systems, the feeding processes, the needs of other functions… and therefore to identify the hot spots.
It would be unrealistic to think that all these hot spots can be solved simultaneously. Proceeding step by step is key. Identifying a particularly salient problem and finding a solution – preferably a simple one, is particularly effective in making the company aware of the merits of the structuring approach.
After a few victories, major projects emerge: extending the scope of data quality, reviewing access or even the architecture of HR information systems, to name a few. In the long term, questions about HR data centralization are raised.