A deluge of data is coming, courtesy of automation

A deluge of data is coming, courtesy of automation

As more automation is added, systems are integrated, and sensors and Internet of Things devices are connected, a deluge of data is collected that can quickly overwhelm IT and HR systems.

Indeed, it is already overwhelming some systems. Organizations, therefore, not only need to find a way to deploy technology to leverage this data, they also need to prepare for a data deluge that will become much more severe in a short time.

HCM and data overload

Systems for managing people, operations and strategies, such as human capital management technology (HCM), already collect more data about the current workforce than organizations know what to do, noted James McQuivey, an analyst at Forrester Research. in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

“The arrival of more automation technology also means that more data from those systems onto the workforce is arriving rapidly,” he said. “Organizations don’t have a clue how to manage employee data to reduce risk, much less how to explore it to provide meaningful guidance to increase motivation and productivity.”

McQuivey has observed a surge in sensitive workforce data over the past two years due to the widespread addition of collaboration platforms such as Microsoft Teams, as well as a number of systems for tracking employee behavior, keystrokes, levels of activity, morale and sentiment of employees; organizational network analysis to identify communication and technical-social networks within an organization; and even tapping into employees’ Fitbits and Apple Watches to keep wellness costs down. This new flood increases a human resources department that is already equipped with increasingly efficient tools to acquire and store government identification numbers, dates of birth, payroll and bank details, benefits and medical information, background checks and more. There is no question that data is exploding across the organization, particularly in human resources.

Analytical sophistication

An obvious approach to this growing mountain of human resources data is analytics. Analytics applications are already in many areas. But these are mainly used for high-level marketing and management. They need to be employed much more heavily in human resources, experts said.

“Leading organizations and vendors have begun to manage these spikes with ways to prevent data misuse, while ensuring positive, in-depth workforce analysis to improve workforce and business outcomes,” said McQuivey.

Workforce analytics is one of the fastest growing segments of the HCM market. According to Forrester, HCM technology’s annual growth rate of more than 15% means that by 2025 it will be a market of nearly $ 2 billion. If these systems continue to function as usual, they will accumulate mountains of information that organizations will not accumulate and capitalize on.

This is one of the factors driving the adoption of multiple analytics tools in HR that add a lot of automation to the decision making process to eliminate manual work and delays. Many vendors are adding such capabilities to existing HCM systems to keep up with the trend. Others are introducing new tools to the market.

Spanish banking multinational BBVA is using Visier Talent Advisor to reduce revenue in revenue generating roles by 44%. Big HCM companies like Oracle and SAP are revamping their platforms with analytics and AI to make sure they don’t lag behind.

“Artificial intelligence and automation can perform daily, routine and repetitive tasks,” said Gabby Nizri, chief strategy officer at Resolve Systems, an IT automation provider in San Francisco. “Human resources should consider simple, code-free self-service solutions that can help automate common HR processes to bring positive value to the business and also benefit employees. For example, virtual agents of AI-based today linked to key human resource processes can perform important tasks for employees efficiently and consistently. “

The toolset for artificial intelligence and analytics applications will continue to evolve. Machine learning and deep learning platforms are entering the mainstream and will reach the same level of maturity as specialized data analytics. David Groombridge, an analyst at Gartner, believes these tools will help HR find ways to use the collected data to dramatically improve decision making. But it will take investments in automation and the use of augmented analytics, simulations and artificial intelligence.

“By releasing creative new technology solutions in this area, you can scale and accelerate the digitization of your organization,” said Groombridge. “This will create applications faster that can automate business activities, optimize AI, and enable faster, smarter decisions.”


Drew Robb is a freelance writer in Clearwater, Florida specializing in IT and business.

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