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July 8, 2016

The Power of a Byte

Posted by Atul Sahgal (View Profile | View All Posts) at 6:22 AM

In the last decade, we have witnessed a phenomenal growth in unstructured data in form of mails, social media posts, feed videos and resumes. The journey is far from over. In fact, a few research firms predict the growth in data by 800 percent within the next five years and the bulk of that data will be unstructured. The preparedness of an Organization to munch this data, would determine and define not only its success but also its survival. Any half - hearted measures would leave us buried under this mountain of data. However, an organized mining of this data would reveal patterns and intelligence unknown in past. It's exciting as well as exhilarating, to even think of the various possibilities of guaranteeing a more optimized and efficient process with improved dollar savings. We, by our actions of today, are adding to the age old maxim: Data when put in context becomes Information, and information when understood becomes power. 

The Task:
It took some time for the Business Analytics to awash the ineluctable benefits onto the shores of the Talent economy. It all started in early 1900s when analytics was first used to improve the Industrial economy by reshaping its logistics & supply chain followed by financial and budget analytics. By mid-1960's, analytics had pushed the financial economy to undergo financial engineering. This coupled with the customer economy and web which led to the birth of Predictive Customer Behavior by leveraging customer segmentation and web behavior analytics. The second decade of the new century, heralded the growth in globalization, complex demographics, multitudes of skills and leadership shortages. The time was ripe to apply the tools for business analytics to re-define recruiting and push for integrated talent management and workforce planning. The business driven talent analytics became the Launchpad for Predictive Talent Models and HR analytics.

The Tools:
Similar to data, the market is flooded by overwhelming number of tools, with capabilities ranging from guided analysis & reporting to more advanced analytics based upon predictive analytics and statistical modelling. Discovering the right tool for your data set is the step which often gets ignored in our zeal to get past the finish line. Choosing the appropriate tool compatible with your data set and in line with the expectations of the consumers of the derived information, gives you the keys to the kingdom. We can broadly categorize these tools based upon their capabilities. The traditional BI tools can provide you with predefined static reports with ability to slice & dice data. These tools fall under guided analysis and reporting category and they work on predefined data sets and metrics. The second category of self-service BI tools allow ad hoc reporting and analysis based on OLAP cubes. The advanced analytics category comes armed with capabilities like predictive analytics, data mining and statistical modelling. The heterogeneity in backend systems, with a constant feed of the unstructured data from Talent digital ecosystems, pushed us to evolve from more simplistic tools to one with more advanced analytical capabilities. In its current avatar, the recruitment BI system is capable of ad-hoc reporting based upon OLAP cube along with deriving intelligence from predictive analysis.

The Tithe:
The talent analytics presents mouth-watering possibilities for recruitment teams in their pursuit of creating a successful talent management process. At Infosys Talent acquisition team, we have been able to define focused vectors to be measured and improved based upon the inputs from BI. The Sourcing Engine Optimization is one such key vector. It allows the team to identify the most productive sourcing channel vis-à-vis any given requirement. It takes into account the various complexities based on demographics, multitude of skills and law of the land, while keeping a watchful eye on the sourcing cost. The pedigree of the candidate when viewed along with the performance as an employee, has a direct bearing on the Stability Index vector. It is a powerful tool for the recruiters to focus on crème de la crème and optimize the talent pipeline. The sifting and analysis of social data is a direct feed to our Social Index vector. It gives a helpful insight about candidates, but it's still in nascent stages of its evolution. Traditionally, we have always remained focused on metrics like cost-per-hire, time-to-fill and join conversions. The deluge of intelligence from the BI system has allowed us to shift the dialogue to more subtle parameters like cost-of-hire, quality-of-hire and posting-response optimization. We have been able to tune our hiring policies, focus on recruitment marketing and get into proactive hiring from passive mode. However, relying solely on data analytics would only yield short term gains. It's in conjunction with recruiter intelligence, that talent analytics can make strides into the future. The recruiter is and will always remain the ultimate benefactor. 


But after categorizing such large data talent pool should not be a problem to analyze it. Otherwise effort is wasted.

I agree with you that relying solely on data analytics would only yield short term gains. This post got me thinking... Thanks for sharing!!

This is a very good article. I would like to add one thing. I believe data analytics can also deliver results on a timely basis. That's so important in business because things change so rapidly.

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