Ultimate HCM Glossary

Analytics and Big Data

HR is moving in a data-driven direction—more data is being collected more accurately and faster than ever before. Detailed analytics, once the exclusive domain of marketing and sales, are now being applied to the world of workforce data as a strategic corporate asset. Analytics and big data are your keys to the future, and here we’ll help you understand some of the key terms you’ll need to know to most effectively utilize these tools.

Analytics - Solutions that allow people to find meaningful patterns in data, typically used to support (or refute) business decisions. In business, analytics are typically used to quantify performance of the organization, a product, an operation, a team, or even individuals. Analytic Solutions use data compilation, manipulation, and statistical analysis to provide business decision support.

Business Intelligence - Software products that enable business users to choose data from a system (database) or multiple systems, manipulate that data and produce reports including that data in various forms.

Workforce Analytics - A methodology that uses software to apply statistical models to employee related data to optimize human resource management (HRM). It can assist leaders in developing recruiting methods, making general and specific hiring decisions, and retaining the best talent.

Predictive Analytics - Uses the analysis of current and historical facts to predict unknown events using statistics, modeling, machine learning, and data mining.

Big Data - The use of advanced analytics tools and programs beyond the ability of commonly used software tools to look at immense amounts of data across numerous systems within a tolerable elapsed time. In the case of HR, people-related data is used to better understand the organization's human capital, workforce capacity, risk, and business performance.

Workforce Planning - A perpetual process for determining and assessing the needs of an organization and its workforce. By instituting that process, a foundation is provided for human resource decisions and profits can be maximized through strategic budgeting and planning.

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