Dheeraj Shastri, global HR strategy and analytics at Abbott Laboratories sheds light on the tremendous possibilities workforce analytics can offer to boost HR's contribution to businesses, and how best to leverage on that data.

I have always been very passionate about technology and how it has been the single most detrimental catalyst in the change of the power dynamic.

Parallel support functions like marketing were the early adopters. With the advent of big data, marketers can leverage even more diverse data and crunch to optimise marketing focus and spend.

While most of the talk is about applying big data to marketing and consumer businesses, there is an even bigger opportunity to apply big data to human resources. Leading global employers are going through HR transformation and no longer restrict the usage of past performances to steer the direction of new programmes and predict the results.

Organisations are also realising the power of workforce analytics and its tremendous possibility to leverage employee data to improve operational performance. In the next decade, it is going to impact every aspect of human capital flow – from the very beginning of talent acquisition to every aspect of talent management, including talent retention.

Leadership talent development and retention continue to be the key challenge across industries. Looking at the current talent shortage and strong competition, HR has to think innovative and needs to move ahead of the curve, from a pure “gut feeling” to more fact-based decision-making.

For instance, just having a healthy talent pipeline on paper may not help the business unless we utilise our pipelines and deploy talent to pivotal positions.

With the usage of internal workforce data and external talent and macroeconomic references, HR needs to start predicting the success of talent deployment.

The June 2016 issue of Human Resources magazine is a special edition, bringing you interviews with 32 HR leaders, with their predictions on the future of HR.

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