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I've been interested in workforce analytics and planning for nearly a decade.  First,  as an industry analyst at Yankee Group when I researched HR Technology and learned the challenges with building the technology infrastructure to process large volumes of data.  Later, as a consultant working with many large global companies, I saw first hand the problem many of them faced -- wanting to be more data-driven but being handcuffed by their legacy on-premise systems and the complexity to analyze data and deliver information that could be actionable.

We have seen a lot of promise in workforce planning and analytics over the past 10 years but the challenges have remained complex.  Processing massive amounts of data has required costly infrastructure and expertise to build self-learning algorithms have been scarce.  

Three significant developments over the past few years now enable workforce planning and predictive analytics to become a reality.

  1. The rise of SaaS as the primary delivery model.  Multi-tenant SaaS solutions like Cornerstone OnDemand allow for data to be easily managed, structured, and shared with open APIs.
  2. Consumization of the enterprise. New user experiences and the pervasiveness of mobile devices make it easier to generate useful data and visualize that data in new ways.
  3. The emergence of big data. Today, big data is changing the game.  New technologies such as Hadoop, and the rapid development of new tools like Hive, Spark, and hBase, combined with machine learning, have now become tremendously powerful to consume and manage vast amount of data efficiently and cost-effectively.

With the convergence of these technology trends, we think the time has now arrive for workforce planning and analytics.  With the closing of our Evolv acquisition today, I am excited about the opportunity we have at Cornerstone OnDemand to make talent management more data-driven.  Evolv leverages modern Hadoop technology infrastructure combined with deep machine learning capabilities.  The results are solutions that address the emerging workforce planning and analytics needs that can ultimately help companies assess, visualize and predict their talent management needs.  

More recently, Evolv was named one of the world’s top 10 most innovative companies in Big Data by Fast Company Magazine.  Evolv has also been directly named in a White House report as a company helping remove bias from hiring and workforce management practices.

With more than 15 million users across 191 countries, Cornerstone’s system of engagement captures vast amount of data on a company’s workforce including their key talent, organization and collaboration data.  Over the past four years, Cornerstone has witnessed our own data growth explode by over 15 times.  At peak times, Cornerstone processes over 2 billion transactions daily.   

What is very exciting to me is that Evolv brings a seasoned team of data scientists, mathematicians and analytics experts to Cornerstone that will infuse new thinking, deep machine learning, and big data analytics experience into Cornerstone.  I’m confident the acquisition of Evolv will strengthen Cornerstone’s core talent management suite by adding new analytical capabilities to our already robust talent management suite.

I am excited about what the future holds at Cornerstone and the talent management market and we look forward to sharing more updates to our  workforce planning and analytics strategy over the coming months.