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Thought Leaders in Big Data: David Bernstein, Vice President of eQuest’s Big Data Division (Part 6)

Posted on Saturday, Dec 29th 2012

Sramana Mitra: I have seen this in other sectors, where a company is essentially offering a software as a service, but it is also offering a business process outsourcing. We can call it SaaS-enabled BPO. There is a company we have covered extensively, called Sabrix, that has a very refined ability to do tax calculations using different countries’ laws. Algorithmically it is very complex. But they don’t only offer it as software and as a service, they also offer the people on top of it to drive the program.

David Bernstein: That is an interesting way of referring to it. There is very little common phrasing for this. I have been looking for other vendors like this. At least in the HR world, I am not finding any. What we know about our HR customers is that they strongly desire to be analytic – not necessarily this generation of HR, though. Having come from that profession, I see that in general, most HR people are not as comfortable with numbers and analytics. Yet they achieved success over the past 10 to 15 years in terms of bringing houses into order, getting processes cleared, and getting clients. But now they are required to present a skill set that has not necessarily been what they grew up with and developed as core. We have a group in the HR world who know what they need to provide but who are not necessarily prepared for it. Our customers tell us they are so relieved there is somebody out there whom they can connect with and who can help them provide those answers, with evidence behind them, so they don’t have to figure out how to organize and present it. It is a wonderful win for them. This is why we say it is big data for HR at their fingertips. It is definitely a piece of the service we see being a differentiator and important.

SM: We love stories about how cutting-edge technologies are being used in different functions.

DB: We are going to continue developing the service. We will be looking at incorporating social data or compensation data. We are continuing to move toward rounding out our big data for HR repository, our capability to be able to provide a connection between supply and demand, workforce planning, and supporting our customers in a variety of HR strategic planning activities.

This is a great starting point for us. Our core business is in talent acquisition, which is the critical front end of the talent management wheel. Getting the right people at the right time. Driving that is the key. But we should also be able to look back as our customers then hire from the sources we have suggested to them. We are then able to work with them across the year and understand the tenure of the people acquired, as well as the performance scores of those people. Then we are able to make not just a quantitative reference but also a qualitative one. We look forward to expanding this service and giving the HR community a lot more than what they were previously able to get their fingers on.

SM: It will be interesting to see how the product performs with real data and real customers, as you continue to be on the market. Being able to make these kinds of decisions based on the data you have is a very interesting hypothesis.

DB: We are starting these conversations with our existing customer pool. It is not a hard conversation because they are already spending a lot of money trying to figure out how to bring in this talent. It all comes down to smart, strategic sourcing and planning.

SM: Thank you very much for your time, David.

DB: Thank you, too. I appreciate your time, Sramana.

This segment is part 6 in the series : Thought Leaders in Big Data: David Bernstein, Vice President of eQuest’s Big Data Division
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