Business Intelligence in HRM

Posted on: 11 December 2017


On his visit to India, Japanese prime minister, Mr. Shinzo Abe laid the foundation stone for India’s first bullet train project in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. The project, estimated at $17 billion, is expected to inject new energy in the country’s growth stream. Apart from employment opportunities, the infrastructure to be built for the train, is expected to help India’s logistics also. (1)Mckinsey & co., in their report “Transforming India’s logistics infrastructure” have pointed out the need to improve rail infrastructure, calculating the inefficiencies associated with poor logistics, to be around $140 billion in 2020.

The effect of this infrastructural transformation will be seen in times to come, but the country with more than 50% of the population between the age of 18~50, has an important resource to be taken care of: human resources. Although available in abundance, it is felt that the resource has not been fully utilised. Discussing human resource usage, we bring to you the 42rd edition of Saralweb research note.

Human Resources

Worldwide, 10.6% of young people are illiterate, lacking basic numerical and reading skills.(2) The number in India could be more, making the employable vs. available human resource equation lopsided. Employability of a resource is dependent upon various factors; in a country like India with varying demography, the factors raise the question of the essence of human resource management.

C.W.Hill defined Human resource management (HRM) as the activities an organisation carries out to use its human resources effectively. These activities include staffing, performance evaluation, management development, compensation, and labour relations. The definition is self-explanatory of the continuous nature of HRM. As has been discussed before, in India, the factors driving HRM are unevenly distributed, calling for complex HRM.

Complexity and HRM

If we have to define HRM in an organisation, on the skill required to earn revenue, we need to refer to the world economic pyramid, referred by C.K.Prahlad in “The fortune at the bottom of the pyramid”. The employees with highest skill set are part of tier 1 and the trend follows. The policies and the methods used in HRM to cater employees has to vary with the level of pyramid. In an ideal situation, the organisation is an amalgamation of resources falling under various levels. Managers or project champions have to look for a perfect combination, in order to use the resources to the fullest. The importance of this perfect combination, for the organisation's revenue, is well understood.

The complexity increases with the number of employees and so do the challenges to utilise them for better. An organisation dealing with timeline, but with less number of manpower, might try and shorten the project time by moving the resources on parallel paths. Contrary to this, an organisation with huge number of manpower resources, and no timeline, might end up having some resources partially utilised or not used at all.

There can be N number of permutations and combinations, an organisation can apply, to cope with these complexities, and attain the perfect combination. But, can an organisation be dependent on human resources only, to figure out the solution related to human resource utilisation. The experts have long been advocating business intelligence, and human resource management seems to be the perfect platform for an organisation to induce business intelligence.

The scope of business intelligence will not be restricted to just providing information like, allocations, remunerations etc., but, automatically perform such activities. The automation can revolutionise how an organisation uses the human resources. An accurate analysis of how well the employable resources are being used, can do wonders, add to the organisation as well as country’s growth.