People analytics: It’s no oxymoron. In a world powered increasingly by artificial intelligence (AI), the use of data to make human resources decisions is no longer an experiment—it’s an imperative. To avoid this truth would be akin to a doctor discounting blood pressure readings as part of a patient work-up: bad medicine, and equally bad business.
But what’s a chief human resources officer to do when faced with the daunting data landscape—and where to even start? Exploiting the potential of people analytics requires a bit of science, a touch of art and some imaginative vision. That’s where the people part comes in. Humans, ultimately, remain the best judges when it comes to emotional intelligence, while AI has the power to make talent predictions with precision no human is capable of. Therefore, the goal as organizations adopt people analytics is not to replace human talent in the search for talent, but rather to complement it. Here, we’ll explore the search for that middle ground. We’ll review the current state of play when it comes to AI/emerging technology adoption for the acquisition and retention of talent, and how organizations at every stage of adoption can better embrace the shift to people analytics.
The Data Deluge vs. Workforce Dynamics
We are awash with data. Consider this: Over 95 percent of the sum of all data that humans have ever generated—from papyrus in the library of Alexandria all the way to Instagram posts—has been created in the past two years alone. Once you digest that, consider that this trend is unlikely to slow down anytime soon. Which means our imperative is to figure out how best to access, harness and deploy this data deluge for the maximum benefit of individuals and organizations alike. Added to this exponential increase in available data, is the reality that cognitive science continues to develop at a rapid rate. Breakthroughs in Cognitive Neuroscience now offer new ways to accurately predict not just what we know, but what we are capable of knowing or learning. These leaps have led to innovative ways to test human attributes like Gamification. Gamification provides a level playing field in testing human attributes – it operates at a frequency which the brain cannot cheat, however prepared.