Embracing Data Analytics in Talent Development

Embracing Data Analytics in Talent Development

In a highly competitive job-market, expression like ‘talent-hunt’ is part of a common vocabulary of both the job-seekers and job-givers. In campus recruitments, recruitments through job portals or a more informal word of mouth talent is always at a premium. Finding the right talent for an organization is easier said than done.


New dimension to talent development

Technology is changing the way employers are looking at their prospective employees and in an interesting way also how a prospective employee is looking at his or her employer. Enter the world of Data/Analytics. This state of the art technology has added a new dimension to the subject of talent development in an organization. 


Critical instrument

What until recently looked more a tool for organisations to make better and more strategic business moves has since become a critical instrument to improve the process of talent hunt, gauge employee engagement, their retention and development within organisations. Data/Analytics has become the new age human capital management avatar companies increasingly rely on to hunt, manage and develop talents to drive business and improve bottom-line.


Setting imagination on fire

The exponential growth in data across the spectrum has galvanized many businesses to apply state-of-the-art data mining and business analytics technologies to human resources data to develop talents within the organisation. But data/analytics and its application in talent development is yet to set the imagination of a large number of business leaders on fire.


Expanding scope of talent analytics

For reasons best known to them, many business leaders still find it difficult to acknowledge the importance of data/analytics for the development of talent. Research works have pointed to an increasing tendency to expand the scope of talent analytics. In fact, easy availability of faster technologies at an affordable price has been propelling organisations to collect and analyse large datasets and undertake their proper structuring.


A strategic necessity

Taking into account the critical role of data/analytics in talent development experts are now encouraging reluctant organisations to take smaller steps over a period of time to make use of the techniques. There is an increasing tendency among various organisations to take talent development as a strategic necessity. This is driven primarily by thinking – ‘If you wish to succeed in your enterprise then you have to develop talent in your organisation’. Such thinking has also a clear commercial angle- ‘BETTER SPEND ON DEVELOPING TALENT THAN HIRING ONE AT EXTRA COST’.


An attractive proposition

All these factors are making talent development an attractive proposition and hence the increasing tendency in organisations to use data/analytics. With that comes the need to evolve and drive an effective talent development strategy. This brings into play the critical role of data/analytics.

  • It helps the organization HR head improve their control over employee engagement. It helps them understand the company culture more precisely.
  • It helps them register workers skills and hammer out a plan of action for the talent development and their roles.
  • It also helps in understanding the real impact of employees’ learning on the long term business outcomes of organization.  


Assessment of human capital

HR experts have the following advice to give to organisations embarking on data/analytics for analyzing human capital in organization- ‘Take smaller assessment steps as part of a continuous exercise’. Kelly and Pease writing on this issue call for viewing human capital analytics process as ‘a measurement continuum’. The process according to them should start with –

  • Narrating a story behind the numbers
  • Summarizing talent management strategies and related measurements
  • Making comparison with organisations’ actual practices
  • Learning the reason for a change in key indicators
  • Providing insights into the areas where human capital investments are working while coming out with alternative measures for improvement.



Finally the role of data/analytics in talent development forms an essential component of the modern day business management ecosystem. It not only drives business but keeps the organisations ready for future challenges. You can ignore its importance, but only at your own peril.