Big data takes centre stage at HR conference

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Above: Delegates from 18 countries attended the recently held annual CTO Human Resources and ICT Forum. Photo courtesy TSTT.

“Big data can substantially improve HR decision-making by utilising patterns found in research and analysis, minimise risks, unearth valuable insights, increase the understanding of processes within the company and enhance the planning of strategic business moves.  In fact, the utilization of big data has become a critical tool for commercial and national development.” said Rakesh Goswami, TSTT’s Executive Vice President Strategic Alliance, Enterprise and Tobago Operations.

Goswami delivered the welcome address at the opening function of the 2017 Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation’s (CTO) Human Resources and ICT Forum.  The annual 2-day Forum was hosted by TSTT at the Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre on November 14th and 15th, and was attended by over 51 delegates from 18 countries around the world. 

The Forum’s theme “The Impact of Big Data on Human Resources” explored leveraging big data; analytics driven HRM; the impact of big data on HR strategy planning; ensuring big data security in the organization; ethical and legal challenges of using big data; the use of social media in the workplace; using social platforms to source global talent; and outsourcing, insourcing and sharing services.

Senator the Honourable Robert Le Hunte, Minister of Public Utilities delivered the feature address and officially opened the Forum.  “An organization’s human capital is one of the most important business assets that a company can have but it is often difficult to quantify this statement in the absence of any empirical data.  From employee engagement drivers and productivity KPIs to retention metrics, big data offers a broad spectrum of opportunities for objective, transparent and effective decision-making and implementation.”

Senator Le Hunte continued, “From a national perspective, it is obvious that ICT is an important contributor to the social, economic and human development of a country, impacting all aspects of governance and all sectors of business.  However, big data, like a river, can only be of use if the proper infrastructure is in place.”

 “I am happy to announce that locally, TSTT, the country’s leading telecommunications provider, is doing just that.  TSTT offers mobile, fixed-line, broadband, pay TV, security and data centre services.  In addition, TSTT’s data networks connect many corporate main offices to their branch offices both nationally, regionally and internationally. Together, these systems support information technology and Internet services that enable critical Human Resource functions.”

TSTT’s Rakesh Goswami. Photo courtesy TSTT.

Goswami said that TSTT is committed to fulfilling its role as the enabler of technology to support the advancement of the country, and to its continued partnership with the government to position the nation as a renowned location for the global provision of ICT enabled services. TSTT pays very close attention to big data since technology is a key differentiator for companies. 

“This has informed TSTT’s multi-billion-dollar development plans, a key component of which is to make high speed fiber and wireless access a standard for homes and businesses throughout Trinidad and Tobago.  We have been moving by leaps and bounds with the roll out of fiber, and the country’s only 4G LTE network, so that residential customers can enjoy faster speeds and affordable accessible data and businesses have the ability to maximize tools such as big data in order to achieve optimal business continuity and innovation.”

Goswami noted that data centres are considered a vital business requirement, especially with the importance of big data in key decision making.  “We are the proud owners of the first Tier 3 TIA-942 certified data centre in Latin America and the Caribbean and we have partnered with stakeholders in Tobago to build a comparably certified data centre on the sister isle. This internationally recognized accreditation positions TSTT and Trinidad and Tobago as one of the top locations for data centre services in the region.”

Gilbert Peterson, Chairman of the CTO Council and Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) congratulated TSTT for hosting the forum and said, “CTO has recognized that ICT is important and has been at the forefront of many ICT Development forums around the world promoting ICTs as the way for social and economic development.”  He added that he was very impressed that TSTT has such an impressive high-end data services rollout programme, especially in Tobago.

Teresa Wankin, Secretary-General of the Caribbean Association of National Telecommunication Organizations (CANTO) stated, “Organizations that succeed in this new digital work environment harness the power of big data to better source talent, manage compensation, achieve higher retention, make better workforce decisions and gain an overall competitive advantage.” 

Nigel Cassimire, Deputy Secretary-General of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) speaking on behalf of Bernadette Lewis, CTU Secretary-General, reminded the participants of the importance of collaboration and input from all persons who will be affected by new policies and services, including service providers, governments, regulators and consumers.

Shola Taylor, CTO Secretary-General discussed the need to collect big data in a transparent fashion and obtain buy-in from senior management and employees.  “Engagement is very important so they can see the value of having more data about them and how this data will be leveraged, not just for the benefit of an organization, but for everyone concerned.”