People Analytics and the Wave of the Future

December 3, 2013 Darcy Jacobsen

Just in case you missed it, I feel compelled to blog today about a terrific article that was posted on the Atlantic Monthly’s site last week. It is all about big data and human resources, and the rise of people analytics, and well worth a read.

“Predictive statistical analysis, harnessed to big data,” writes author Don Peck, “appears poised to alter the way millions of people are hired and assessed.” That may not be news to most of us, but Peck’s article is comprehensive and informative and paints a clear picture of how big data is transforming HR. Big data as a term, he admits, has become a little tiresome, but the way it is changing how we work and live (and how we hire and manage) is electrifying.

The article looks at how we’ve assessed talent historically and how technology is changing the game today. By reducing bias, for example. Understanding that people are often hired or promoted based on their looks, race and other superficial criteria, technology is helping make assessments of competence based on quantifiable data that is not subject to this type of bias.

From algorithms to motion sensors to games that assess personality traits, companies are turning to innovative new ways to gain new insight into applicants and employees. This type of information—much like the culture and talent data from recognition—can be astonishingly predictive when it comes to spotting top talent. And of course, that is better for companies and better for work. Says Peck:  “If the tools now being developed and deployed really can get more people into better-fitting jobs, then those people’s sense of personal effectiveness will increase. And if those tools can provide workers, once hired, with better guidance on how to do their jobs well, and how to collaborate with their fellow workers, then those people will experience a heightened sense of mastery.”

Check it out!

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