HR departments are placing more emphasis on improving their business process automation than collating big data, an expert has claimed.

Writing for qz.com, Jayson Saba – vice president of strategy for human capital management firm Ceridian – explained that although HR magazines and blogs are rife with content promoting big data strategies, most HR departments are barely ready for “little data”. Instead, Saba notes that HR departments are continuing to focus on streamlining workflows and adding automation technology

“Without a single source of truth or accurate data, it is very difficult to rely on any data,” Saba said. “More often companies fall back on much smaller data sets captured by the payroll system to report on basic elements…This type of reporting has many limitations as it prevents HR from being a better business partner.”

Backing up Saba’s argument is recent research by Sierra-Cedar which found that the top priority for HR departments is business process improvements (62 per cent). The 2013-2014 HR Systems study also discovered that automating the talent process (44 per cent) and service delivery improvements (40 per cent) were high up on the agenda.

“This means that HR is still on a self-discovery expedition still looking to improve its processes, technology and how it serves its constituents before starting to analyse how HR metrics tie into greater intelligence for the company,” Saba notes.

Jason Averbrook, chief innovation officer at cloud service firm Appirio, believes that to break stale old HR habits, it’s not just the technology that needs to be updated but employee attitudes, too, diginomica.comreports.

“This is not just a technology component,” he argued. “If you don’t change attitudes, then we’ll just create another generation of technology. The process has to be reimagined.”

Author: Jack Stanton