HRBoss Blog

The Missing Vs in Big Data for HR: The 5 V Model Is Here

If you are reading this blog then you are probably already familiar with the concept of Big Data. Are you also aware of Gartner’s classic definition of Big Data? According to this still widely adhered to definition, Big Data can be characterized by the following ‘3 Vs’:

Volume, Velocity and Variety

In a nutshell, these ‘3 Vs’ refer to the overwhelming amounts and types of data we now have at our disposal and the increasing speed at which this data can be processed.

Not familiar with the 3 V model? Get to grip with the ‘Basics of Big Data’ eBook, free download here.

However, times are moving forward. Just as the Big Data revolution has forced businesses to adapt how they process their data, the very definition of what Big Data is has also evolved. Without a doubt, the 3 V model still forms the foundation of our understanding about Big Data- but it’s time to recognise 2 new facets of the Big Data debate: Veracity & Value. Welcome to a new, maturing understanding of what Big Data is and what it means for Human Resources. Welcome to the 5 V Big Data model.

Just last week, the International Data Group (IDG) published their latest Big Data enterprise survey and predictions for 2014 and found that, on average, organisations are forecasted to spend $8M on Big Data initiatives. What does this mean, in real terms? It proves that organisations across the globe are waking up to the unprecedented opportunities that Big Data represents for their businesses and its functions.
HR leaders in Asia are also eager to start tapping on Big Data. In a landmark study published last week, the Asia HR Big Data Survey showed that 79% of HR claim that Big Data is a priority in 2014. However, 98% confess to having no Big Data strategy in place.  In fact, Asia-based Human Resources professionals named the two main roadblocks to getting started with a Big Data strategy as follows:
1) Lack of in-house data analysis expertise
2) Inadequate IT systems for Data management and reporting
With Asia-based organisations so eager get started with a Big Data road map, overcoming obstacles and implementing effective, actionable Big Data strategies is key. This is why you need to be fully informed on what the new 5 V Big Data model is…to ensure that spending on Big Data will not become a waste of time, money and resources for your organisation.
V is for Veracity

When we talk about the ‘Veracity’ of Big Data, we are referring to the accuracy of data. Due to the Volume and Velocity of Big Data, biases, noise and abnormality in data is not uncommon. However, in order to get value out of Big Data, the data itself needs to be reliable and accurate. How can you execute on smart strategic decisions if you are basing them on out-of-date or wrong information?

Essentially, what organisations want from Big Data is the ability to surface business insights that would previously have gone unnoticed, in order to make fact-based decisions. If your data lacks integrity or “Veracity”, you lose all ability to make the best choices for your organization.

Data Analytics today means not just being able to connect previously disjointed data sets, but performing in-depth analysis with accurate data. For traditional analytics tools, "Veracity” brings to the field a unique challenge. Big Data now leverages sophisticated algorithms that can handle the inaccuracies inherent in data.

V is for Value

The 5th V stands for Value.

Value simply represents the business value to be derived from Big Data: the translation of both structured and unstructured data into business insights….and to ultimately generate revenue (or provide cost-savings) and competitive advantage to your business.

Users of Big Data have to identify the variables that can affect their business processes in terms of revenue and employee/customer engagement, for example. They then have to focus on how it interacts with the characteristics of Big Data, namely real-time predictability and mobility, in order to provide a strategic overview of the business.
For example, here are some of practical questions that a Big Data solution can help HR answer. Ask yourself, would you and your organisation derive value from accessing real-time responses to the following?:

  • Where do our best employees come from? (specific schools, companies, industries, etc.)
  • Is our interview process effective?
  • Who are our ‘flight-risks’? Who is likely to quit in the next 6 months?
  • What is the “DNA” of our best employees? (degrees, prior experience, hobbies, backgrounds, demographics….)
  • How can we more effectively identify and recruit to our ideal employee profile…every time?
  • Who are truly our best managers?
  • Does prior industry experience really matter?
  • Are reference checks a waste of time?
  • Should we be biased against “job hoppers?”
  • Who should I be promoting next Quarter?
  • Where are our talent gaps today, and what will they be in the next year?

There are many data analytics solutions in the market but only a select few, such as EmployeeBoss, are able to answer the questions above whilst providing a holistic data analytics package, including embedded business intelligence, powerful reporting tools and data visualisation. With a comprehensive suite of features, our customers have the ability to focus on data- to process, to understand, to visualise and most importantly, to extract the value hidden in Big Data for their business and its functions.
So, as businesses are jumping on the Big Data bandwagon, be sure to expand your vision to include both Value and Veracity. They are the ‘missing’ Vs that will take you away from gut-feeling and guesses towards accurate, data-driven decisions.
Want to find out more about getting started with an HR Big Data strategy? Contact us to find out more about Asia’s leading HR Big Data solution today.