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Big data – it’s the latest buzz phrase. But, little data is the real key to hiring success. Little data makes big data more powerful. Collecting discreet data points on each candidate at each step is what really matters.

Let’s first define big data. It’s the sum of its parts. In a nutshell, data is aggregated from multiples sources and then studied for patterns. It allows businesses to do more targeted marketing, improve customer service and more.

In contrast, little data focuses on the parts within the whole. It gets down to the nitty-gritty and gets to the bottom of the “who, what, where, when and why.”

Living side by side

Mark Bonchek, founder of Shift Academy, an organization to update leaders’ thinking for a digital age, says that big and little data differ in the following ways:

  • Focus: The focus of big data is to advance organizational goals, while little data helps individuals achieve personal goals.
  • Visibility: Individuals can’t see big data; little data helps them see better.
  • Control: Big data is controlled by organizations, while little data is controlled by individuals. Companies grant permission for individuals to access big data, while individuals grant permission to organizations to access little data.

Bonchek presents an example to consider. When you’re grocery shopping, you typically get coupons at checkout. These coupons are based on past purchases – information gathered from credit card usage or big data. But what does this same scenario look like with little data? He says you start by applying the three steps:

  • Shift focus: How can we help individuals achieve their goals?
  • Make it visible: How can we give people visibility into their own data?
  • Share control: How can the relationship be more reciprocal?

You can apply this partnership between big and little data to almost any industry. Human resources is a perfect example. And thanks to technology, gleaning this information is easier than ever. For example, OutMatch’s Predictive Talent Selection™ technology, a fully integrated data driven selection platform, greatly improves the quality of a hire by adding data and analytics to every step of the hiring process (little data). It adds consistent competency-based data throughout the hiring workflow and provides incremental predictability for talent decisions. As a result, organizations are better equipped to accurately predict a new hire’s future performance and increase overall hiring effectiveness (big data).

So, when you bridge big data with little data, you could get a hiring match made in heaven.

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