‘Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.’
Forget that Great Barrier Reef job, the sexiest jobs in the twenty-first century will be in data science. This was the prediction made by Thomas Davenport and D.J. Patil in the Harvard Business Review.1 They should know. They're data scientists. They crunched the numbers and they came out sexy. There's been a lot of Big Data talk over the last couple of years. It's been heralded as a management revolution.2 The technology research house, Gartner, expects the market for Big Data and analytics to generate $3.7 trillion in products and services, and 4.4 million new jobs by 2015.3 That's a lot of sexy jobs, and filling those jobs is clearly going to need some brain power to be applied to talent analytics.
If Big Data is sparking a revolution in general management, then Predictive Analytics may well be the ‘next big thing’ in talent management.4 According to Thomas Davenport, it all started with baseball.5 If you've seen the film Moneyball then you'll know that the conventional approach to judging the future performance of a baseball player was based on assessing ‘the five talents’: how well you can catch, how fast you can throw, how fast you can run, how hard you can hit and how far you can spit. I'm not sure the last one is quite right, though it seems to be a widely shared skill among baseball players. The point is these qualities feel intuitively ...