The impact of Big Data Analytics on Management Consulting and Human Resources in India

Satyakam Mohanty, CEO, Ma Foi Analytics

Management Consulting, relying as it does on a combination of research-custom and syndicated, industry expertise of its experienced vertical specialists and institutional knowledge accumulated over decades of advising clients, has been an elite field where the bigger players not only continued to grow year over year but were also able to maintain high margins since the barriers to competitive entry were very high. However, Big Data has disrupted this equation.

With democratization of data, access to useful information is no longer a challenge. It’s what you can do with this deluge and how quickly you can do it that matters. This is where Analytics start-ups and incumbents have been quick to step in. Using a combination of Big Data technology and bleeding edge data science – artificial intelligence and machine learning based algorithms for instance; the analytics players have been able to deliver deeper insights, faster and in the process upset the Management Consulting applecart, especially with regard to Sales, Marketing and Supply Chain. Flipkart, India’s leading e-tailer is a prime example of a company that has embedded big data analytics and technology deep in various aspects of business and uses it as a strategic tool to gain the competitive edge.

On their part, the Management Consulting companies haven’t been sitting idle. Many have been closely following developments in the Big Data Technology and Analytics space and have set up their own Analytics wings that offer Big Data Analytics- both as a standalone offering; as well as bundled with their core consulting offerings. Accenture, for instance, has a full - fledged Analytics practice housed within Accenture Digital with a large chunk of the workforce sitting in India, many with prior experience in pure –play Analytics companies.

Human Resources

The role of the HR is to maximise the contribution of people to business goals through development and execution of the right people policies and processes. While the significance of HR can hardly be overplayed, it is equally true that while the CEO’s discussions with the CFO and CSO are often based on solid data, those with the HR head, are often anecdotal. Just like Marketing, the HR of the future has to be evidence based, and organisations have started to work in this direction. 

Organizations are now using social media network analysis to find the right candidates for their roles. Apart from that, utilizing historical data to identify candidates who would be a better for long term success and longevity in the organization is already a reality.

Organizations like Dentsply India and Johnson Matthey are using HR Analytics to drive their organizations’ HR strategy. These organizations capture employee data across all locations as well as utilize Gallup data. Using analytical tools they are able to design employee engagement programs based on the age, tenure and other demographics. This helps in making employees more committed to working with the company since the incentives can now be diverse and specific to what the employee requires based on his demographic profile.

Studies over the past decade have shown that a judicious use of Analytics in Human resources can help predict up to 80 per cent the employee turnover. As organizations devise evidence based people strategies, HR functions move up the maturity chain from being reactive to predictive. Big Data opens up the possibilities for HR to collaborate with functions such as marketing & technology like never before. This way the HR team adopts strategies that are business result oriented, and become true strategic partners to their organization.