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Big data helps improve companies' workforce analytics

Paul Newman

June 24, 2013

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Companies have begun to use big data to analyze more than just their customers and business-to-business clients. They're also looking to uncover more information on their own employees, using workforce analytics to make key personnel decisions.

According to IT Business Edge, IBM is the latest firm to launch a software tool tailored specifically toward this task. Using employee productivity data stored in the cloud, IBM Workforce Analytics combines the company's data analytics tool with its corporate consulting services. According to Murray Campbell, senior manager of business analytics at IBM Research, the firm has always used such tools to analyze its own people, but now they're being marketed externally.

The technology isn't necessarily designed to replace human evaluators of talent, but rather, the goal is to augment subjective opinions with concrete data. Campbell says the software is capable of evaluating the performance of a workplace and designing "what if?" models that analyze the potential impact of future personnel moves.

It's worth noting that general cloud use has been on the rise in recent years. According to CDW's annual "State of the Cloud" report at the end of 2012, 39 percent of organizations now say they are using cloud technologies, a marked increase from 28 percent in 2011.

"Organizations' adoption of cloud computing has steadily increased, which comes as no surprise given the growth of mobility and the consumerization of IT," said Stephen Braat, general manager of cloud solutions at CDW.

The cloud has many purposes, and uncovering more information about workforce performance is now one of them. Data quality is of course a pivotal part of this process - by ensuring that they have accurate information on their personnel, companies can take tremendous steps forward to make better hires and improve their teams in the years ahead.

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