Big stores of data and the intelligent algorithms that underpin them can inform everything from your Netflix recommendations to your Facebook news feed, and now a new system being developed by software firm Workday can bring the same kind of data-crunching approach to the office. The company says its new cloud-based software solution for businesses can spot outstanding candidates for a job, predict which departments are going to exceed their budgets, and even make an educated guess about who will quit next.
Workday isn’t saying exactly how it works out which high performers are likely to move on to new pastures, but businesses can use the software to try and keep key staff members on the payroll with a salary increase or the offer of a new position. “We leverage a lot of the same thinking and algorithms [as consumer apps like Netflix] but the data is more complex, and there are more algorithms,” Workday’s co-founder and chief executive Aneel Bhusri told the New York Times.
Workday’s system is also able to scan social media profiles and other databases to categorize people by their occupation type (enabling recruiters to cast their nets more widely) and the firm is making developing programs suitable for schools as well. Other business software developers such as Salesforce and Tidemark have already announced that this type of big data analysis will play a key role in their products in the future.
“Making an employee happy, improving the efficiency of a company, these are hard problems that affect corporations,” said Mohammad Sabah, director of data science at Workday. “We’ve applied machine learning to affect consumer tastes [and] putting it to career choices, to pay and employment, have a huge upside if we do it right… we’re surprised how accurately we can predict [when] someone will leave a job.”
The implementation of these systems is still some way off, but they’re in the advanced stages of development — don’t be surprised if in a few years’ time your boss knows about your plans to quit before you do.