Hugh Pickens writes:
Quentin Hardy reports at the NYT that a leading maker of cloud-based software for running corporate human resources and financial operations has announced new products that provide the kind of data analysis that Netflix uses to recommend movies, LinkedIn has to suggest people you might know, or Facebook needs to put a likely ad in front of you. One version of the software, called Insight Applications, predicts which high-performing employees are likely to leave a company in the next year; it then offers possible actions (more money, new job) that might make them stay. "We’re surprised how accurately we can predict someone will leave a job," says Mohammad Sabah, director of data science at Workday. The goal is to predict future business outcomes to take advantage of opportunities and cut risk levels. One future product may be the ability to predict who will and won’t make their sales quotas, and suggest who should be hired to improve the outcome. "Making an employee happy, improving the efficiency of a company these are hard problems that affect corporations."
Anyhow, I think this sort of software is a big snow job that separates dumb managers from their money.
I've become skeptical about big data recently. I got rid of the Chrysler and bought a 2004 Pontiac in May. Last week I got two letters in the mail, one telling me that my Chrysler needed servicing, and one saying my Pontiac was being recalled.
If big data actually worked, I'd never have gotten the letter from Chrysler. Without government help, GM wouldn't have known who owned the car with that VIN.