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How Small Businesses Can Use Big Data

Posted by Dominic Barton

05-Dec-2014 15:00:00

Small Business Saturday in the UK is upon us and here at Broadbean we want to do our part to support all those small businesses out there. After all, we all started somewhere. Our client companies are generally on the larger side, but small businesses can reap the same benefits from big data. 




When it comes down to it, regardless of the size of the organization, payroll is generally the most significant spend. Payroll is usually about 40% of total revenue, so it makes sense for all businesses, small or large, to optimize this spend with analytics. Also, depending on the organization, a bad hire can impact a small business far more drastically than a large-sized company as there are fewer resources to absorb the costly hit.

Small businesses are increasingly turning to big data to learn more about their personnel and talent management efforts. Being able to tap into live, analytical data about hiring can help companies to cut costs, reduce turnover, and increase the retention rates with new hires.” - StandBy Talent, Sourcing and Placement Firm


You Probably Already Have the Data

The simple part of the big data journey is that most organizations are already collecting and storing vital talent information without even knowing it. Everything from the analytics of the career site to the performance management data can be combined to uncover real, actionable insights into the workforce. The average ATS has enough data for a pretty decent start.

“There’s no shortage of workforce analytics and applicant tracking systems designed for recruiting purposes, and many are great at gathering and aggregating ‘transactional information.’ But the trick isn’t merely in collecting the data–it’s in interpreting it, and understanding the importance (or lack thereof of) each data point.” - Michael A. Morrel (@rivimike), Riviera Partners 

That brings us to the tools part of the big data equation. While everywhere we look there is a plethora of data continuously being collected and stored, most hiring managers or workforce decisions makers aren’t exactly professional analysts.


You Don’t Have To Be an Analyst

The most intimidating part of working with big data is the analysis. The truth is we know that recruiters and talent acquisition specialists aren’t analysts…they’re recruiters and talent acquisition specialists. We all see the business value of using big data, but when it comes time to invest in the tools that render existing data useful, that’s where the discussion ends.


Analytics tools need to be looked at as any other investment would, and it is important for employers to know that they have options. Broadbean has connected with companies like Taleo to offer the same talent analytics support that large businesses enjoy.


Small and mid-sized organizations can now use tools like Taleo Business Edition to fill their talent pool with relevant, quality candidates by simplifying the recruiting, hiring and even performance management processes. Small businesses need talent intelligence too. Now they can gain new levels of insight with these tools that measure, monitor and manage key workforce objectives. Managers can also identify process bottlenecks and operational challenges that need corrective action. Now companies of all sizes can get their hands on these powerful tools.


broadbeantwitter-01 Small businesses need talent intelligence too.


“Now, thanks to falling tech costs and new tools that display complex databases in ways even technophobes could love, smaller companies can unlock many more secrets from data. Your company's databases can be cross-referenced with the expanding galaxy of information drawn not just from the likes of social networks, government databases, and usage patterns on mobile devices, but also from increasingly specialized information sources such as digitized transcripts of call-center interactions and sensors sending updates from various steps within a supply chain, and do so affordably.” - Kevin Kelleher (@kpkelleher), Inc. Author

The data is already there, no one expects you to transform into an analytics genius and there are now tools aimed at lending small businesses the competitive edge that talent analytics brings. Small businesses don’t have to shy away from big data anymore; they too can enjoy the ability to make scientifically backed, confident workforce decisions. Again, regardless of size...


Talent is generally the most significant investment any organization can make; shouldn’t that investment be backed with intelligence?


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Topics: Big Data , Big Data Conversations with Dominic