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Blog : Talking Talent


Talking Talent

This month we talk to Eugenio Pirri, Vice President, People and Organisational Development at luxury hotel management company, Dorchester Collection...

1) Big data is somewhat of a buzzword in the HR sector – is it really something which people professionals need to embrace?

Yes, though this should only be embraced if done so correctly. Too many people fall into the trap of having lot of data which isn’t then used it properly. As an HR professional first find out what you want to achieve by using data. What is the insight? What do you need to know? How does it tie into your HR Strategy? How will it make your organisation or department more empowered to make better decisions? Ask lots of questions, find out what you need and then seek to get the right data to make it work.


2) How have you used data at Dorchester Collection and what tangible impact has it had?

We use data to look at how we engage with our internal and external customers and guests.  Through pinpointed questions, data has told us more about the environments we are creating and the experiences we are providing.  This in turn has allowed us to tailor our offerings, to deliver the ultimate employee and guest experience and to create true loyalty.


3) Is there a difference between ‘big data’ and ‘lots of data’?

Absolutely. Surprisingly, you don’t need a lot of data... it’s all about choosing the right data which is targeted to your strategic plan. This plan, and subsequent roadmap, needs markers and pit stops that are validated to ensure you are moving in the direction your company wants to go in. Big data is about utilising all of your sources to get the information you want. It does not mean you have to see every aspect of the data, nor use it all. This does not create alignment. It can, however, create chaos! Just be careful not to fall into the trap of requesting data just to feel good about what you are doing. It has to align to the initial insight and strategic plan – to keep you on the road map... or tell you when to turn onto a whole other road!


4) What would your advice be to someone who is only just starting their big data journey?

Ask questions, seek information, ensure your HR strategic plans align to the company’s plans and that your initiatives are possible and sustainable. Then see how to best measure them and seek data accordingly. It’s a step-by-step process with no one right way or direction to take in the beginning.


5) Is big data the future?

The future is unknown... Yes of course some part of technology and data will be there, though not at the expense of using your brain and applying HR and People common sense! Use this... please!

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