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From Big Data to Smart Insight: The Journey of Democratising Data
From Big Data to Smart Insight: The Journey of Democratising Data
Research & Data 14th Aug 2019

Mark Cuban coined the phrase, “data is the new gold”, and it’s certainly true that we’re living in an age where evidence & insight are prevalent across so many industries.

The big challenge for many of course, is not the volume of data we have in our working lives; it’s understanding how to aggregate and make sense of it, and perhaps most importantly how to get “insight” in the right place at the right time. Data is only as good as the people who interpret it to make decisions – and this applies whether you are looking at customers, employees or indeed the wider working world. And I hardly need to mention that getting this analysis and the decisions that flow from it wrong is a risky business!

Right across the HR and Recruitment sectors we’re now seeing a mainstream revolution. The People Analytics industry is set to be worth $2.5bn by 2020. So, the question I ask myself is how do we make this journey less painful? How do we “democratise data”, putting the highly useful intelligence in the hands of individuals and businesses to help them solve real business & societal challenges?

My conclusion is actually pretty simple.

  1. First of all, you need some seriously smart data engineers to do the heavy lifting upfront. That results in clean, integrated and useful data aligned to the problem you are actually trying to solve.
  2. Second, you have to make the user-experience at the coal face much easier, through tools that people actually want to use. (HR take note!).
  3. Last, and by no means least, the solution you offer must be good value, enabling a compelling return on investment. There are of course many ways to do all this – build, buy, borrow etc. – but the principles are the same. Good data, easy to use, and priced fairly to enable tangible outcomes.

And that’s exactly what we’re doing at Emsi and why we partnered with the Recruitment & Employment Confederation. We genuinely want to help people make better decisions about the world of work and their own careers, and so putting data in the hands of more than 3,000 businesses (at no cost) seemed like the right thing – and hopefully a great thing – to do! We’d be delighted of course if this results in some further work for us in the sector, but regardless, we just hope the data we’ve compiled helps a multitude of organisations make some seriously smart decisions about their future.

Matthew Mee
Matthew Mee is the Director of Workforce Intelligence for Emsi in the UK.
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