Big Data Performance Analytics:
What Is Big Data Analytics and Why Is It Important to Unlocking Workforce Capability Mysteries
The purpose of the Institute pillar of my organization is to share the results of my on-going performance improvement research that you can apply at your organization. I want to equip you with evidence-driven, practice-proven principles and practices that produce the organization and workforce results you expect to remain competitive today and tomorrow. There are too many fads and canards floating around that sound great but change nothing. Nobody has the spare capital to confuse activity with productivity. When we invest scarce resources into performance improvement initiatives, we expect the worthwhile operational results. We want our investments to produce worthy performance that generates a positive financial return on our investment, or ROI.
This short article will address the first core capability my company offers to achieve worthy performance at the human capital and organization levels. The topic is big data performance analytics. The other two articles will address our two other capabilities, Human Performance Engineering and the ROI MethodologyTM. Each capability allows your organization to apply three practice-proven, evidence-driven solutions to raise the performance bar in our organization that you did not realize was possible. Whether you use these internal workforce capabilities separately or as an integrated, enterprise-wide solution, you will realize that what you do not know about the daily performance of your workforce is costing your organization unnecessary time, money, and resources.
I mentioned the term human capital. To some, it is a new term. The Human Resources Glossary defines it as “the return an organization gains from the loyalty, creativity, effort, accomplishments, and productivity of its employees.” Various global studies of CEOs indicate that human capital is their top challenge over the past few years.
In their book, High-Impact Human Capital Strategy: Addressing the 12 Major Challenges Today’s Organization’s Face, Jack and Patti Phillips report that two of these twelve critical forces are to manage talent for value and to use analytics and big data.
How do you do that?
Managing Talent for Value
Managing talent for value is critical for organization success. You want to hire the right people and equip them to do what is right to deliver outcomes and results that internal and external customers want and value. Value is about worthy performance. Performance is about behaviors and results. Worthy performance considers the costs to produce the results. Equipping people involves giving them the information, tools, and incentives required to do the job without wasting time, money, or resources and to minimize the risks associated with deviations from acceptable practices. We’ll talk about this more in my next article on Human Performance Engineering.
The key point I want to make is for far too many organizations, they do not know if their people are working at their peak performance levels. Traditional performance benchmark measures establish the norm. They do not know if their workforce is capable to perform at a higher level or where to focus their attention to invest talent development resources. This is not about performance management where a supervisor lists strengths and recommendations for improvement that are typically meaningless and ignored. What is important is to know the real strengths and vulnerabilities of your workforce. This valuable data allows us to focus scarce resources on fixing what matters in the workplace to optimize individual and team performance at every level of their organization to achieve operational excellence. Talent development is critical for operational success. What we have been doing in the past is not working very well, especially when you consider that 50% to 90% of talent development programs do not change workplace behaviors to improve workforce performance. We are missing the mark and wasting time and money. This is where big data analytics enters the picture.
Big Data Analytics
CEOs now expect every functional area of their organization to use big data analytics. Why? Let’s define these two terms to help us answer this question.
- Analytics helps decision-makers gain meaningful insights that generate better decisions. How? By transforming data into meaningful patterns, we can make data-driven human capital decisions about where to invest at the individual and organizational levels.
- The graphic helps us understand the challenge of big data. It involves data sets that are so large and complex that we can no longer keep up with the amount of data, the speed new data is arriving, the multiple sources the data is coming from, and requirement to ensure the data is valid a reliable. Only specialized software designed with the right algorithms can handle turning big data into insightful analytics.
The result of big data analytics is considered business intelligence. The resulting business intelligence results in better and more confident decisions. The insights gained from the analytics hidden in the big data helps us realize greater operational efficiencies and improve customer satisfaction we did not know was possible. It also helps us reduce or avoid costs and reduce risk that we did not existed.
Why Is Big Data Analytics Important to Unlocking Workforce Capability Mysteries?
If we want to improve performance at the human and organizational levels, we must have an accurate and current understanding of the strengths and vulnerabilities of our workforce’s capabilities. Two global studies indicate the only about 38% of executives believe they have this workforce data. If we want to take the mystery out of why we are not seeing improved performance from our talent development investments, we might want to consider investing in the technology that will give us this capability. Performance analytics is the linchpin of talent development investments.
We can help you develop this internal performance analytics capability and take the mystery out of why you are not seeing the ROI you expect on your talent development investments.
My next article will explain our second capability, human performance engineering.