Be smart: Forget about big data
Open any financial article or trend report and you are likely to come across the term big data.
Coined to refer to the endless stream of information that’s available to business owners, data has become more than a buzzword. It is an ideology that organisations cling to. However, many fail to understand the potential that data can unlock within a business.
Far too many “thought leaders” and profit prophets hammer on about big data as a revolutionary tool. The truth is that big data is useless if you do not know how best to use it.
Those in the know have developed ways to scale the mountain and turn data into the key to operational success.
The Beginning of Big Data
The internet and tech revolution has had an impact on the way we work.
Big data is a natural consequence of this new way of interacting. Most of our daily work engagements are rooted in technology. Whether it’s biometrics or search engine tracking, we have the ability to track and record everything our people do.
All of these digital movements are stored on servers, and the stack of information is growing exponentially on a daily basis.
It was only a matter of time before people started to turn the mess of numbers into valuable insights. And when we managed to integrate the information across multiple digital touchpoints like social media accounts, the gold rush started.
Big doesn’t necessarily mean smart.
Data can yield powerful insights, but most of the time the focus of those mining rich data is too broad.
You’ve probably seen this in your daily digital wanderings. The type of adverts that get served to you are targeted based on big data analytics that loosely place you into a certain demographic. And this segmentation is very much hit and miss.
Even when big data is correctly analysed and brought into a business context, it paints the picture of a system and not of the individuals who collectively make up your organisation.
By focusing on distinct patterns we have reduced our staff to little more than stereotyped sets.
A common instance where big data is incorrectly used is the world of human capital management.
Most companies have a structured approach to understanding the way people work. The approach is built on quarterly check ins, surveys and multi-step management processes. The data is collected and processed with the goal of spewing out a resource roadmap that guides success.
But we’ve forgotten about our most important asset yet again – our people.
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution for getting the most out of your team. Trying to shoehorn them into a programme that doesn’t meet their individual nature is pointless. All this does is aggravate and frustrate them, and that translates to poor performance and an entrenched culture of dissatisfaction.
And that means lower productivity which can affect your bottom line.
Thankfully, there are a handful of organisations out there who saw the shortcomings of big data and started innovating around the way data is used.
We have managed to salvage the potential power of employee data and merge it with psychological analysis to develop digital tools that not only boost employee happiness but also grow your EBIT by maximizing performance.
In an age where information and happiness are the dual currencies driving an economy of success, this is the only way to unlock the potential within employees who have been reduced to binary code.
Analysing habitual digital action is not sufficient – you need the ability to decode that information alongside pertinent psychological trademarks to make sure your organisation is as happy as it is efficient, because the two operate symbiotically.
Paradoxically, it is in the disconnected scientific application of algorithms that data comes to the fore as a tool for unlocking human energy and potential. Information that goes beyond insight to inspire better, happier performance is our reality.
Forget about big data. It’s time to be smart.