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The Promise of Big Data for HR

Alec Levenson's latest working paper is now available here.

"Big data" is all the rage these days. Companies have been making large advances in understanding their customers and markets as we gather more and more information on how people shop, work and live their lives. Now we are hearing many people advocate for the impact that "big data" is going to have on HR. But how much of this is hype versus reality, and where are the meaningful insights really going to come from? In this article I review recent big data developments and map out the likely paths for HR. Three types of innovation are addressed: new data, better access to existing data, and new types of analysis. Also discussed is what measures of employee engagement and linkage analysis tell us about the factors underlying business performance, and the role of causal models in big data and HR analytics.

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