With a single keystroke, can you find out how many employees you have? How many women and men, and their age distribution? Do you know how many are going to retire in the next 12 months? And if something were to happen, do you know who each employee’s next-of-kin is?
And does your personnel system have the correct details about each employee’s immediate supervisor?
“Of course,” you say, “we’ve got that kind of basic information about our employees under control.” “Fine,” I say, “because I’ve been around the block a few times and know that things are often not quite as rosy.”
Do you know the reason why your best people quit? Do you know who they are, where they work and who they report to? Have you identified their successors in case they resign or disappear from work for some other reason?
Are you certain that the people who have left your employ no longer have access to the company’s software applications? Are you sure who has access to what? What could happen if some unauthorised person or disgruntled former employee can still log in?
My questions may seem rather infuriating. While nothing is better than being able to answer yes to every one, if you answered, no, you can take comfort in knowing that you are not alone, and that it is not too late to make amends.
Big data is made up of many small items of information, and when these are all in place, you can achieve even greater things. Like always being updated on HR-related issues, and not having to spend hours digging up the information required when the management team or the board asks for a report. It does not simply reveal the status quo, but can also be used for predictive analyses. In other words, it tells you what you don’t know – and allows you to foretell the future.
One keystroke? It may often be a gross exaggeration, but with today’s HR technology it is actually almost completely true.
Are you sure that those who have left your employ no longer have access to the company’s software applications? Are you sure who has access to what?
Author: Berit Bjerknes