By: Daniel T. Bloom
Every day our organizational management is confronted with the rush to Big Data and its impacts on organizational metrics. However, this rush is failing to understand one critical factor in making a decision.
Consider this: It is a dreary, overcast day and so you decide to go to the mall to do some shopping. As you enter your favorite big box store, you see an 18-year-old, blonde, blue-eyed girl head directly to a particular display. I am not trying to create a stereotype but rather to demonstrate the basis of big data.
Marketing has spent large sums of money to create an experience based on big data to create a vision of the ‘why that 18-year-old would head to that particular display.’ Their models extensively study the correlation behind the demographics and desires of certain population groups and how they result in purchases by these groups.
IMPLIED BIG DATA
In the readings on the implications of big data in HR, one article suggested the use of a tool called predictive analysis. The example they provided was that big data told an organization that every time a certain manager interviewed a candidate for an open position, the hire resulted in a failed hire. The extended logic was that if this hiring manager was the next manager up for an opening, the odds were that the hire would not last. Correlation is great for certain aspects of the organization, but HR needs to look at the causality of the human capital management issues are clearly understood.
Return to our predictive analysis example we discussed above. It is critical that when we have a problem with a process, it is almost never a people problem. If this is correct, then the fact that a particular manager is interviewing failed hires is not the grounds for a valid correlation. Rather, it’s a sign that something is wrong with the process. Is the reason that the hires fail due to the wrong cultural fit? Is the reason the hires fail due to the wrong skills for the position? The use of the continual process improvement methodology provides you with the tools to discover the root causes of the process problems that a concentration on correlations does not and cannot.
CORRECTING THE OBSTACLES
When we determine that in order to correct the obstacles to the hiring process, we need to find a driven method to empower change in our organizations. Cause and effect determination is method to drive that change. The TLS Continuum (Theory of Constraints- Lean- Six Sigma) provides a roadmap to discover the causes of the process problems.
We are not suggesting that Big Data does not have a place within our organizations. It certainly does in areas like sales or marketing. But when the success of our organizations is dependent on knowing why we are experiencing process errors there is a better route to go with the TLS Continuum and the Continuous Process Improvement tools.
The TLS Continuum combines the tools of critical thinking with those evidence-based tools of Lean and Six Sigma to produce a congruent system which identifies the obstacles (TOC) and then removes the obstacle (Lean) and then concludes with the application of six sigma to create the standard of work and remove variations.
About the Author
Daniel T. Bloom SPHR, SSBB, SCRP is a well-respected author, speaker and human resource strategist, who during his career has worked within a wide variety of industries. He has been an educator, a contingency executive recruiter, a member of a Fortune 1000 divisional HR staff and the Corporate Relocation Director for several real estate firms in the Tampa Bay area. He is an active member of the HR social media scene since 2006 with contributions to Best Thinking.com, WordPress, Human Capital League, and Recruiting Blogs.
He has also published three books—Just Get me There in 2005 which is documented history of the Corporate Relocation Industry, Achieving HR Excellence through Six Sigma published in 2013 and the Field Guide to Achieving HR Excellence through Six Sigma in 2016. He has also written over 40 articles which have appeared both in print and online on various HR issues.