Big data is a lot like refrigerators are to teenagers. Even though there’s a ton of food in it, they can’t find anything to eat.
How many new Tweets, blog posts, Link-In updates, Google+ posts are there in a day, or even in an hour. It is mind boggling. Yet there are companies out there screaming at HR professionals to get into BIG DATA, as though it is some kind of parachute that will help you from your inevitable fall.
Just because you now have access to every bit of information about your employees, your potential recruits, your competition for resources, or what your boss ate for breakfast doesn't mean any of this information is really going to help you run your business.
I have worked for big data companies in the past, and now I am starting up my own company that focuses on big data. But we never called it big data. If anything, we might have called it small data. You don’t need to know about everything going on out there; you only need to know about the things that are important to you.
Most people in the big data business don’t get HR. And because they don’t get HR they stick you in front of the refrigerator and tell you there is everything you need in there to make a meal.
But data is like ingredients, it needs a recipe to make it a meal. The recipes have to come from HR.
Those crazy data-wonks that come to you with a "show and tell" full of charts rarely know what it is you do and what data you need to succeed. So if you plan on spending any time growing your big data capabilities, make sure you – the HR professional – pick the recipe and decides what ingredients need to be gathered.
Together we can make a fine soufflé