In this session, Mark Wadsley, Director HCM Transformation, and Strategy at Oracle tackles the myth that analytics is only relevant for large scale organizations. He starts the session by identifying some of the driving forces of using analytics by companies of any size, which are revenue, profit, and cost. In short, these are measures that are central to the decision making apart from other tangible and intangible measures such as engagement rate. Setting the context for the discussion, he unpacks the basic ideas of big data by noting that it dependent on the digital footprint online, which can be analyzed to make smarter decisions on the total population. He introduces two primary classifications of data, 1) Structured data – which is codified data and 2) Unstructured data – which could also include photographs, images, website text files, strict data model structures.
While explaining some of the concepts, Mark gives examples of the use of data in helping understand user preferences – whether it is the predictions on what other products users can buy on Amazon or the “people you may know” feature on LinkedIn. The imperatives of using data can have implications on what we call “people analytics” - which could enable talent search, conversion ratios, performance capability, cost, revenue, and profit. All of which are measures that are equally important to businesses of any size. After a demonstration of a tool, he also touches upon the four things that business leaders must be wary of – 1) Making assumptions, rather than looking at data. 2) Using data as a self-fulfilling prophecy, 3) Not allowing cultural nuances or asking questions during analysis and 4) Allowing perception bias to impact the reading of data or scores. Mark also touches upon the need to be aware of the compliance and risk management legislation of countries that you operate in.