During the past couple of decades, the business world has undergone a staggering amount of change and development. Among the quick surge of incoming innovation, one trend has influenced the way businesses are being run in an almost unprecedented way - the widespread shift towards data-based insights and processes.


Lately, ‘big data’ has been a very popular catchphrase in the corporate circles. But what is big data?


In theory, it’s a rather simple concept to define - it represents huge data sets coming from a variety of sources that, when analyzed, can be used to solve many different business problems and drive the decision-making process. In practice, however, big data is incredibly complex and takes a lot of skill and highly sophisticated tools to collect and analyze.


But once you manage to tap into its potential, big data can significantly help many aspects of your business - product development, customer experience, security, and, not least of all, human resources.


Gathering and analyzing specific sets of data on your employees can prove beneficial from an HR perspective for many reasons. Just think in terms of employee retention, talent acquisition, job satisfaction, compliance, performance, and the interconnectedness of all these areas.


Now, the question is: How do you collect all the necessary data?


One way is to make use of time tracking software as a starting point and one of the sources for gathering structured data and quantitative information about your employees. We’re going to discuss how this can be accomplished shortly.


According to the traditional definition, big data is characterized by volume (you get a lot of data), velocity (you get it fast), and variety (you get it in many different forms). As we’re about to see, time tracking software ticks all three boxes.


The Volume


The volume of data refers to the amount of information you manage to collect. Within the context of big data, this amount is, well, big. But the exact size of your HR data sets will depend largely on the number of employees in your company.


Time tracking software is capable of providing huge amounts of information. The number of different kinds of data depends on the type of software you have and we’ll discuss the possibilities later on, but the really great thing about this system is that it collects data on every single employee you have. If you have 3,000 employees, you’ll get 3,000 data sets.


Of course, you can aggregate this data on any level for easier overview and analysis, but the fact remains that you’ll end up with a detailed time tracking profile of each employee. All of these reports and pieces of information can either be stored on cloud or, if you wish to have a greater control over the volume of data, on your own servers.


The Velocity


The high velocity of big data means that its inflow is very fast, which lets you analyze and act on the insights very quickly. This aspect is less crucial for HR than it is for, say, security, but it’s still important to be able to access current data and make timely decisions.


Even though a big part of time tracking software functionality are daily and weekly reports, which are also the easiest to analyze, you can still access all the data in real time. You can see all the changes immediately and get the necessary insights at any moment.


This way, the influx of data never stops and you get new pieces of information all the time, which enables you to remain current.


The Variety


Finally, the variety aspect of big data refers to the fact that you get information from many different sources and in many different forms. What time tracking software typically gives you is structured data, which means that it’s quantifiable and that the pieces of information are highly relational to one another. Let’s go over some of the various types of data that this software can gather.


Obviously, you can get a lot of time-related employee data, including time on tasks, total time on projects, billable hours, the ratio of active to idle time and information about employee attendance such as clock-ins, clock-outs and overtime.


Other forms of data that you can collect are related to budgeting, the frequency of use of different apps and websites, and even productivity metrics. You can obtain some unstructured data as well if necessary, such as screenshots.


All of this can provide a pretty holistic picture of employees’ performance and daily work routines, and all of it is updated in real time. Ultimately, analyzing this data will prove useful in many segments of HR - compliance, performance, employee efficiency - and it might give you some indication of the underlying reasons for some observed trends, like high employee turnover or low productivity.


What Next?


Once you implement and start using time tracking software, the data will just keep coming. Which is why you need a concrete strategy to handle big data and use it to improve HR processes.


The steps in handling big HR data that you’ll need to take include preparing the infrastructure, getting the tools and hiring the talent to analyze the data, and then collect, iterate, analyze and act on the insights in order to effect change.


Of course, time tracking system can’t be your only channel for gathering big data - you’ll have to combine it with other different sources to get a truly complete picture of various aspects of your workforce. Once you have this, you can proceed to look for patterns and gain actionable insights. From there, it’s just one step towards making informed decisions that will positively affect your business and your employees.


Conclusion


Big data seems to be the future, not just of information technology, but of other aspects of business strategy like HR. It’s about time you started choosing the method to obtain this data about how your employees perform their jobs, and one of the most effective ways to accomplish this is with a time tracker software. Once you have the data, it’s just a matter of careful analysis before you get valuable insights that have the potential to change your business for the better.


Workpuls Teramind ActivTrak Hubstaff DeskTime Time Doctor RescueTime Kickidler Veriato Work Examiner
OVERVIEW
Price $6/user/month $6/user/month $7.20/user/month $7/user/month $7/user/month $9.99/user/month $6/user/month $9.99/user/month $150/licence/year $60/licence (lifetime)
Free trial 7 days 7 days No 14 days 14 days 14 days 30 days 7 days Yes 30 days
Ease of use Very easy Difficult Very easy Easy Easy Very easy Very easy Very easy Very difficult Easy
TRACKING METHODS
Unlimited (tracker working 24/7)
Fixed (defined working hours)
Automatic (when computer is connected to a specified network)
Manual (start/stop)
Project based (track time only on projects)
GENERAL MONITORING FEATURES
Stealth mode
App and website usage
Real-time monitoring
Offline time tracking
Attendance
Activity levels
Keylogger
Geolocation
Remote desktop control
Website/activity blocking
SCREENSHOTS AND RECORDING
Screenshots
Screenshots on demand
Screen recording
PRODUCTIVITY FEATURES
Productivity trends
Websites and apps labeling
Category labeling
Productivity alerts
ADVANCED SECURITY FEATURES
User behavior analytics
Data loss prevention
Advanced file and web monitoring
REPORTING
Productivity reports
Team reports
Timelines
Email reports
Access management
PLATFORMS
Web
Mac desktop app
Windows desktop app
Linux desktop app
Mobile app iOS, Android iOS, Android iOS, Android iOS, Android iOS, Android Android
Browser extension Chrome Chrome Chrome
Other Citrix, VMware Chrome OS
OTHER
Support Phone, email, online Phone, email, online Phone, email, online Email, online Phone, email, online, in-person Online Phone, email, online Email, online, Viber, Whatsapp Phone, email, online, support ticket Phone, email, online
Knowledge base
Video tutorials
Integrations comming soon
API
Deployment cloud, on-premise cloud, on-premise, AWS, Azure cloud cloud cloud cloud cloud on-premise cloud, on-premise on-premise
Kronos Humanity Timeclockplus Tsheets Wheniwork Deputy Replicon Jibble EbilityTimeTracker OnTheClock
OVERVIEW
Price (per month)Available upon requestFrom $2 per userAvailable upon requestFrom $6.40 per user + $16Free for up to 75 usersFrom $2.50 per userBasic plan: $30 for 5 users + $5 per additional userFrom $1.50 per employeeFrom $4 per user + $8From $2.20 per user
Free trial30 days14 daysYes14 days14 days14 days30 days
Ease of useDifficultEasyDifficultVery easyEasyEasyDifficultVery easyEasyEasy
FEATURES
Timecard management
Scheduling
Shift Trading
Timesheets
Break time management
Real-time tracking
PTO Management
Payroll
Invoicing
Client billing
GPS tracking
Clock out reminders
Alerts
Manual time
PUNCH-IN METHODS
Web app
Mobile app
Time clock device
Time clock kiosk
Facial recognition
Fingerprint scanning
Geofencing
Group punch-in
REPORTING
Visual reports
Email reports
Time rounding
MANAGEMENT
Permissions
Manager approvals
Add time for others
Integrations
PLATFORMS
Web
Android app
iOS app
Mac desktop app
Windows desktop app
Linux desktop app
OTHER
SupportPhone and onlinePhone and onlinePhone, chat and onlinePhone and chatEmail and onlineChat and phonePhone, email, chat and onlinePhone and onlinePhone, email, chat and onlinePhone and online
Knowledge base
Video tutorials
Community forum
API
Workpuls Hubstaff Toggl TimeDoctor Harvest TimeCamp Timely Everhour Tick TMetric
OVERVIEW
Price (per month) $6 per user $5.83 per user $9 per user $9.99 per user $10.80 per user $5.25 per user $99 for 5 users $7 per user $19 for 10 projects $5 per user
Free trial 7 days 14 days 30 days 14 days 30 days Yes 14 days 14 days 30 days 30 days
Ease of use Very easy Difficult Difficult Very easy Easy Very easy Easy Difficult Very easy Difficult
TIME TRACKING METHODS
Manual
Start/stop buttons
Automatic time mapping
IN-DEPTH TASK AND PROJECT ANALYSIS
Screenshots
App and website usage
Activity levels coming soon
Real-time tracking
TASK AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Project adding
Project templates
Project status
Task assignment
Task priorities
Budgeting coming soon
Mark billable/non-billable hours
Payroll calculation
Invoicing
ALERTS
Idle time reminders
Deadline alerts coming soon
Budget alerts coming soon
REPORTING
Client login
Productivity analysis
Email reports coming soon
PLATFORMS
Web
Mac desktop app
Windows desktop app
Linux desktop app coming soon
iOS app Beta
Android app
Browser extension Chrome Chrome, Firefox Chrome Chrome Chrome, Firefox Chrome Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge
OTHER
Support Phone and online Email and online Email and online Online Online, email and phone Email, online and support ticket Email and chat Email and chat Email Chat
Knowledge base
Video tutorials
Integrations coming soon
API
On-premise hosting

Ready to Take Full Control Of Your Workplace?

Try the simplest solution today…

Try Now For Free