Big data and modern analytics solutions have really not been around all that long, nor have they been affordable and accessible enough for various types of organizations to embrace, but this is changing quickly. Heightened demand has fueled the development of reporting analytics tools that can be adopted by a wider range of businesses, which has been evidenced by the massive increases in deployment rates and investment volumes throughout the past year or so.
Cloud computing has certainly played a major role in this, allowing firms to bolster the flexibility and scalability of their infrastructure to ensure that the volume, velocity and variety of big data do not hemorrhage systems. Additionally, cloud has improved the cost-effectiveness of major deployments and the heightened storage needs that come along with them, making it possible for even smaller firms to begin using reporting analytics and big data tools.
Taking that a step further, the philosophic transformation yielded by cloud computing has been just as important, as this technology arguably brought the as-a-Service market into the limelight, and this is now beginning to impact analytics. For example, several analysts have started to assert that big data-as-a-Service will be a major movement in the coming years, allowing firms to essentially outsource their reporting analytics needs to managed solution providers and vendors.
This will further open the floodgates with respect to adoption and utilization, and companies that have the ability to launch relevant strategies should certainly do so soon if they hope to get a jump on the competition. In the same vein, human resources departments appear to be the hottest areas for reporting analytics deployments right now, and new solutions are making it easier for the professionals therein – who often do not have a wealth of technology training – to still use these tools effectively.
Commoditization of analytics
Rawn Rhah, a culture, collaboration and management analyst, recently published an article in Forbes regarding the increased need for HR analytics solutions that can be understood and utilized by non-technologists in these departments. As a note, the transformation of analytics has been decisively moving in the direction of commoditization and consumerization, with visualization solutions acting as a good example of tools that can be leveraged by just about anyone.
However, while the reports and insights generated by data visualization and other modern analytics solutions will be intuitive and highly accessible, the work needed to actually create and manage the strategy still demands a wealth of technical knowledge. According to Rhah, segmenting the responsibility and roles of HR professionals might be a good start to help move analytics programs along, essentially enhancing the targeting efforts to align deployments with specific needs and personalizing the models more acutely.
He suggested going off of the Ulrich model, which is among the most popular out there, and breaks HR down into administrative experts, change agents strategic partners and employee advocates. Rhah did note, though, that each employee is not necessarily going to be completely dedicated to just one of these roles throughout their tenure at a firm, and this is why the segmentation must be balanced by "organizational design."
Put more simply, strategies ought to be drawn up with the dual aim of broadly enabling analytics use in the HR department in a consistent fashion, then guiding more specialized procedures and personalization efforts for the various segments. Rhah went on to affirm that while HR professionals do not necessarily need to be highly skilled in data science matters today, those who do possess these types of knowledge will have an edge when leveraging the solutions in the coming years.
It is worth noting that the daily tasks and demands of a reporting analytics strategy will only be able to be completed when deployments are handled properly and by professionals who are indeed highly skilled in technical matters. Configuration, integration and general setup are simply not tasks that should be put in the hands of individuals who have not received the training necessary, as one wrong step can significantly slow down to time to market, and might even lead to major disruptions and inaccuracies as time goes on.
As such, leveraging the support of a HR reporting analytics vendor that can step in and make sure the implementation process goes smoothly and efficiently is a necessity for any firm that wants to realize the highest possible returns on investment from the start. These solutions providers will often offer maintenance and management support to further strengthen the integrity of the investments over time, while also allowing HR employees and others in the business to focus on their core responsibilities.
HR analytics is already having a major impact on the public and private sectors, and the time is now to get moving on these strategies.