BIG DATA: How to Explain It & How to Use It for Your Career

BIG DATA is the triumph of data over intuition. But who wins and who loses?  Who is perceived as having the best intuition? That would be the seasoned professional with twenty years in his field who goes with his gut instinct to make the tough calls.

When a June 2014 Harvard Business Review cover story said experience is overrated, I considered the all the traditional trends that are less and less correlated to success and how this is a big advantage for the less experienced! Newly entered professionals could gain advantages on par or greater than their more seasoned counterparts.

HBR Experience is Overrated
The world is changing at increasing rates as companies are competitively forced to compress their product life cycles.  Firms must acquire more of the talent they immediately need instead of having the luxury of time to develop it from within. This puts pressure on budgets to migrate from L&D to comp plans.

Illustrating the impact on recruiting, imagine a company needing to hire an in-house recruiter. It must select between a recruiter with twenty years of experience against one with five years of experience. Our candidate with less experience, though, has almost all of her recruitment experience in big data analytics to pull candidates in through social media. She never posts jobs since her developing expertise lies in pull recruitment!  Instead, she developed skills in big data analytics to get coders to script the right algorithms to target qualified candidates who did not even realize they were looking for a new position.   

Meanwhile, our more seasoned recruiter has two decades in traditional push recruitment. He posts jobs before wading through hundreds of qualified and unqualified resumes alike just to tell the difference.

Never before could the less experienced adequately compete with the more experienced. If experience is overrated, it is because it has been replaced by employee nimbleness – the ability of employees to learn.  HR Avant Garde invites to you to learn the practical side of big data.

In this BIG DATA webinar, updated from two years ago,  we invite you to learn:   

  • How BIG DATA changes career paths of even the most unsuspecting!
  • How BIG DATA changes the way business decision are made.
  • How BIG DATA changes who makes the decisions & the reshuffling balance of power.
  • What BIG DATA skills can you bring to the office tomorrow to increase your value?

Vincent Suppa works with startups and investors and teaches graduate courses at New York University. His email is suppa@suppa.org.

© Vincent Suppa 2017

An Executive Perspective on HR: A Strategic Framework for HR

There are no HR problems. There are only business problems with HR solutions.

Most HR professionals speak with confidence about whether or not they are adding value to the HR function. However, executives no longer think that is good enough. The C-suite is now demanding to know if HR adds shareholder value to the business – not to its own function.

When HR is not adding shareholder value and performs as a hygiene factor, firms accept industry standards and decrease their vertical integration by outsourcing significant portions of the HR function.

CEOs do not want to have HR conversations with HR. They want to have great business conversations with HR. How can HR measure its business success instead of merely its HR success? This is accomplished by discovering the link between HR initiatives and, through pro forma income statements, its impact on net income.

When HR professionals don’t present pro forma income statements as part of their project portfolios, they are bereft of the information that  definitively answers the question, “Did HR add shareholder value?”

In this webinar, discover eight income statement categories that all HR initiatives should impact. If your HR project does not impact at least one of these eight categories, consider not greenlighting the project at all for the benefit of the company.

Vincent Suppa works with startups and investors and teaches graduate courses at New York University. His email is suppa@suppa.org.

© Vincent Suppa 2017

Hacking HR: The New Employee – Employer Compact

Welcome to our new feature entitled Hacking HR. We are developing content specifically to help non-HR professionals navigate the system to gain access to coveted jobs.

Why Hacking HR? Executives and company founders create new positions within their firms while entrusting HR as gatekeepers of those jobs.

Hacking HR will expose non-HR professionals to specific operational advice – tips you can immediately begin using – to enhance both the quality and earning ability of your professional life. Learn from an HR insider on how HR decides on who passes through the gate and who does not.

In our first installment of Hacking HR, we present an 18-minute webinar explaining why this new feature is even necessary. You will learn how the Employer-Employee Compact of past decades has been eradicated with many firms still acting – to the detriment of its employees – as though no such radical transition has taken place.

Today’s new employer-employee social compact has not been explicitly acknowledged, although it’s now an implicit part of today’s economy.

  • Learn about the new compact that openly recognizes jobs are not permanent, but the employer-employee alliance can be permanent to the benefit of both.
  • Leverage the new business reality by making the business case why your employer should encourage – and pay even pay you – to build networks & expertise outside the firm.
  • Leverage your former company by either joining or even establishing an active alumni network.

Once you understand this new compact, we believe you will agree that hacking HR – ethically of course! – is more needed than ever.

Vincent Suppa works with startups and investors and teaches graduate courses at New York University. His email is suppa@suppa.org.

© Vincent Suppa 2016

Financial Literacy (Part 3): The Strategic Cube Method

At every meeting, HR Avant-Garde reminds its members that mere acquisition of knowledge is not what enables us to professionally excel. Professional excellence happens when that knowledge is applied to profoundly change how we approach our profession.

Our two previous posts and 18 minute webinars provided financial literacy for the income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement. We now present how to use this knowledge to improve the quality of your professional life.

We introduce a new approach to apply financial knowledge to business strategy by presenting the Strategic Cube Methodology.

This quick time-to-market approach has served several professional pursuits:

  • Reaching for Job Interview: Many candidates scour the internet to repeat back to the interviewer what they already know about their own company. Instead, imagine the power of a candidate concluding her interview after articulating something strategically applicable about the company.
  • Analyzing the Competition: Reverse engineer your competitor’s public financial documents to determine their strategy.
  • Quarterly Strategic Review: Identify any gaps between a company’s mission statement and its tactical execution. This is known as strategic drift.
  • Positioning your Startup Company: Target lagging metrics to ensure they match intended strategy and measure how closely both stay on track.

In eighteen minutes, learn The Strategic Cube Method and, perhaps, come up with ideas on how to build and customize your own!

Vincent Suppa works with startups and investors and teaches graduate courses at New York University. His email is suppa@suppa.org.

© Vincent Suppa 2016

Financial Literacy (Part 2): The Balance Sheet & Cash Flow Statement

From our preceding post, Financial Literacy (Part 1): The Income Statement, we discussed how to avoid HR malpractice by developing HR solutions aligned with the financial conditions of the company.

Just as a medical doctor requires checkups prior to handing out Rx slips, the conscientious HR practitioner will gauge the strength of the company – measured as financial health by investors and executives alike – through a financial check prior to recommending the best course of human capital intervention.

In the next 18 minutes, take another important step toward financial literacy by understanding the balance sheet and cash flow statement while also learning to create additional financial ratios that will make you a conscientious HR practitioner.

Vincent Suppa works with startups and investors and teaches graduate courses at New York University. His email is suppa@suppa.org.

© Vincent Suppa 2016

Financial Literary (Part 1): The Income Statement

You may be able to work in Italy without speaking Italian. Perhaps you can find a career in Thailand without speaking Thai. There are even people who hold jobs without speaking the language of business. But in each case, it’s much better if you do speak the language.

While we know what languages are spoken in France and China, what is the language of business? The language of business is finance — and few ever make it to the executive level without speaking it. It’s how businesses measure success versus failure. Even nonprofit organizations must have their revenues exceed their costs to continue their work.

For our HR professionals, let’s talk about HR malpractice. Imagine a doctor giving you a checkup before prescribing you medicine. Now imagine that same doctor giving you a prescription without taking the time to examine you. Well, HR people do the equivalent of that all the time.

The only way to gauge the health of a company is to review its finances. When HR professionals, however, don’t speak the language of finance, they are forced to prescribe solutions without ever examining the health of the company. Imagine a long-term HR solution for a company whose liquidity ratios or burn rates reveal what is really needed is immediate relief.

The HR professional who can read an income statement knows — long before being told by the CEO — that their product is becoming commoditized, and either a new recruitment strategy or L&D initiative can restore margins.

In 18 minutes, take the first step toward financial literacy by understanding the income statement and some of the most fundamental financial ratios that serve as leading indicators to making the business decisions that help companies thrive.

Vincent Suppa works with startups and investors and teaches graduate courses at New York University. His email is suppa@suppa.org.

© Vincent Suppa 2016

Big Data’s Application in the Business Environment

You viewed our last webinar and now you know exactly what Big Data and datafication are. But how would you apply it in your day-to-day business? What important Big Data role could you play tomorrow at the office, even with the soft skills you already bring to the table?

In 18 minutes, learn how intuition is being replaced with data-driven decisions and what skills you should develop to stay relevant. We will cover specific examples of how big data solves real business problems and how deciding upon dependent and independent variables on your way to setting up a hypothesis is your first step before bringing in a data scientist.

Vincent Suppa works with startups and investors and teaches graduate courses at New York University. His email is suppa@suppa.org.

© Vincent Suppa 2016

Big Data & Datafication: The Least You Need to Know

Twenty five years ago, to ask a company if they were on the internet was a legitimate question. Today, even the most Luddite companies have a web presence.

Ten years ago, to ask a company if they deploy BIG DATA to drive their decisions was also a legitimate question. But today, BIG DATA is as ubiquitous as the internet, and while people today would not ask if a company uses either the internet or BIG DATA – of course they do! – investors and employers alike are asking how well they are using BIG DATA.

But when asked what BIG DATA is, all too often we hear how it must be about lots of data. We have always been surrounded by data, so there must be something more to it, no?

In eighteen minutes, learn the least you need to know about datafication – a word so new that most spell checks still deem it a misspelled word. In a few minutes, understand enough about BIG DATA to explain it to others, including the three most fundamental shifts manifested by BIG DATA:

  • From small to all
  • From clean to messy
  • From causation to correlation.

Learn about how to apply Big Data in business.

Vincent Suppa works with startups and investors and teaches graduate courses at New York University. His email is suppa@suppa.org.

© Vincent Suppa 2016