CHAPTER 13 Big Data and People Analytics

Whatever has happened in my quest for innovation has been part of my quest for immaculate reality.

—George Lucas

Big Data continues to be touted as the next wave of technology and analytics innovation. From our perspective, the next wave of innovation is less about Big Data and more about how companies leverage Big Data analytics to take action and optimize their business. Having data is not enough; it needs to be leveraged effectively to drive and optimize business action that is coordinated at all levels of the organization. As it relates to People Analytics, Big Data is critical to providing real-time insights to businesses regarding how to maximize the value of the talent for the organization, as well as maximize the organization’s value for the talent it intends to retain and develop. In this chapter, we revisit our Seven Pillars of People Analytics Success in the context of Big Data, providing examples for each pillar to help illustrate the concepts you’ve read about so far throughout this book.


Big Data is one of those buzzwords that can mean so many different things, and, as a result, it has the potential to be meaningless. However, to most people, the concept of Big Data is the notion that certain data comes at us so frequently, in so many different forms, and at such high volumes that it’s difficult for a single human to make sense of or analyze it efficiently and effectively. For example, a daily temperature ...

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