Ron MacLean just now on @hockeynight: “Statistics are like bikinis: They reveal a lot, but not everything.”
— James Mirtle (@mirtle) January 18, 2014
I know you’re annoyed at me bringing up big data and statistics and my stance that people need to go for it instead of following patterns. I still stand with my stance, but with a little twist.
Let me be clear first: I think big (and small) data is very important in HR or any department. If there is a positive trend, you continue what you are doing. I think all businesses realize the data is out there in public and they need to take advantage. Why fix it if it’s not broken? utilizing data will make businesses be smart on who they go after.
What big data won’t determine is when crap will happen. I have always say big data is effective if you continue the pattern. There are many things that can derail your company:
- Any scandal
- Criminal activities
- Federal regulations
- State regulations
- District regulations
- Inclement weather
- Natural disasters
- Unforeseen circumstances
However, you can project when crap will happen. An example was Ripken Baseball, in 2008, hired economists and smart business people to project when the downturn is going to start and here to make cuts that didn’t involve employees. In the end, Ripken Baseball came out the downturn with minimal damage.
When I hear big and small data, it’s an analytic approach to the data that is already there. It will work, but for how long? You can predict turnover, but you never know who is leaving, which could have an impact on your business.
You can have all the data that you want and have people figure out the patterns, but you do need a few people who can experiment and throw caution to the wind and do it. Patterns are meant to be broken at some point and companies, every 3-5 years, need to have a new plan with new resources, regulations, and people to find the next great pattern.
What I’m saying is while analytics help sustain success, it is the cerebral people who grow your success