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[Excerpt] With “big data” and “analytics” atop human resources (HR) professionals’ dictionaries, it is no wonder that some are calling it time to think of employees as data points and to scientifically make people decisions. These beget horrific images of what many employees already believe HR promotes: incessant change and downsizing solely for profit maximization.

Yet, for HR to genuinely transition into the world of data-driven people solutions, it must leverage its roots in employee advocacy, understanding, and development. To best do this, HR must undertake three actions. First, HR can ease into people analytics, using the necessary time and effort to gain employee buy-in. Second, HR should stress the objectivity of data-driven decision making. Third, HR practitioners must exhibit empathy for those affected by such decisions.


Suggested Citation

Lipkin, J. (2015, September 4). Sieving through the data to find the person: HR’s imperative for balancing big data with people centricity [Electronic version]. Cornell HR Review. Retrieved [insert date] from Cornell University, ILR School site:

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