Event: Data Analytics in HR: Past, Present and Future

On June 7th, Data Soc was pleased to host a talk in a field very different from our usual forays into business, but one no less important: HR. Professor Chris Forde gave the presentation and covered a variety of topics at pace, considering the use of big data in HR is still a very nascent proposition. We had a great turnout for our speaker, including lots of faces we had not seen before!


Professor Forde is Coordinator of the Q-Step Programme at the University of Leeds, which seeks to enable social scientists to use more quantitative skills in their research – more Big Data than Bourdieu. He is Professor of Employment Studies, in the Centre of Employment Relations Innovation and Change at Leeds University Business School.

Can data analytics help HR become more ‘strategic’? What challenges does the rise of big data generate for data analytics in HR? Professor Forde looked at the use of data analytics in HR in the past, present and future, and explored the some of the most commonly used techniques and tools of data analytics in HR, before considering the potential and limitations of these analytical tools.


With the recent emergence of cloud services providing an opportunity to clout the oligarchy of HR information systems services (and having previously used SAP HR, it deserves one), our speaker provided much food for thought on this emerging section of data research, which is often hobbled by a disconnect between needing to be the human face of a business to its employees, and the drive to ‘harden’ decision making with numbers and attributes.