Aberdeen’s Human Capital Management Trends 2012 report has identified a striking relationship between key HR data management metrics and organizational performance. The study showed that organizations succeeding in metrics such as hiring, engaging, and retaining talent were most likely to improve performance. And best-in-class companies showed year-over-year improvement that was four times greater than average and laggard companies in revenue per FTE (8 percent improvement), in customer satisfaction (15 percent improvement), and in customer retention (11 percent improvement).
The capability most commonly attributed to this increased performance was access to talent data such as employee profiles and development plans; in place at nearly two-times the number of best-in-class companies (63 percent) than of laggard companies (32 percent). Additionally, companies within the top 20 percent of their industry provided managers with workforce and labor data 39 percent more often than laggard companies.
The difficulties of providing this degree of visibility are well understood. The group of problems associated with recent unprecedented growth of business data, commonly referred to as Big Data, typically involve the storage and accessing of huge amounts of data, rapid data collection, and management and use of non-traditional data types such as electronic text-based information, digital media, and physical documents. Though it may seem counterintuitive, those companies demonstrating the best performance in HR data management are ones that have embraced Big Data and developed methods of incorporating data from multiple sources.
During the study, Aberdeen focused on the 126 companies that gave above average importance to HR data as it relates to Big Data management. Of these organizations, 32 reported capabilities sufficient only to access and analyze core HR data, 61 reported the capability to access and analyze core HR data and workforce management data and integrate it into their HR data initiative, and 33 reported the ability access core data, workforce management data and talent management data. Those organizations that collected and integrated data from the most sources were also best performers in data speed, employee satisfaction, and costs.