Source: sloan.mit.edu

Source: sloan.mit.edu

What is ‘Big Data’ and how does it apply to HRD?

This is a great article by Bernard Marr discussing what “Big Data” is, and how it is now and in the future affecting organizations. He discusses that in the world of ‘Big Data’ they talk about the four Vs that characterize big data:

  • Volume – the vast amounts of data generated every second
  • Velocity – the speed at which new data is generated and moves around (credit card fraud detection is a good example where millions of transactions are checked for unusual patterns in almost real time)
  • Variety – the increasingly different types of data (from financial data to social media feeds, from photos to sensor data, from video capture to voice recordings)
  • Veracity – the messiness of the data (just think of Twitter posts with hash tags, abbreviations, typos and colloquial speech)

So, we have a lot of data, in different formats, that is often fast moving and of varying quality – why would that change the world? The reason the world will change is that we now have the technology to bring all of this data together and analyze it.

As HRD professionals, we must be abreast of how we can leverage this data and its analysis for building capacity and capability in our organizations. Building these new skills that are required to handle big data are precisely the point of Virtual HRD.

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