What is Big Data?

Big Data is essentially data available to organisations which they can use to identify the key skills and attributes they are looking for in their newest recruits.  Bid data comprises the mass of data and information generated by companies, their stakeholders (e.g. customers, staff etc) and it is this data that is collected, analysed and used to make strategic decisions about hiring.

Traditional candidate assessments focused on core numerical and verbal reasoning skills with candidates results being compared to others who sat that assessment.  As psychometric testing has developed employers are looking for more ‘intelligent’ methods of identifying the most appropriate candidates for their roles.

By utilising their Big Data and investing heavily in ‘intelligent’ psychometric testing they save money in the long term as the risk of employing less suitable candidates is reduced.  Not only does this reduce cost but also improves productivity as more suitable candidates are hired.

Big Data allows employers to create bespoke psychometric tests.  Classic examples of which are situational judgement tests and personality tests.  While candidates can prepare in a more traditional way for numerical and verbal reasoning assessments preparing for a situational judgement test requires careful consideration of the organisation you are applying for.

For example the personality and behavioral traits a client facing professional services law firm are looking for is perhaps quite different to those which an analytical actuarial firm are seeking.  Big data essentially allows psychometric testing to become more ‘intelligent’ and a more valuable recruitment and investment tool.

While large recruiters like the Big 4 accounting firms will use bespoke situational judgement tests it is possible to improve your chance of passing by understanding what “competencies” employers are generally looking for.  These “competencies” typically include, to name a few, teamwork, building relationships etc, generic skills nearly all organisations require their employees to have (you can read more about these competencies on our Situational Judgement page):


Big data is allowing organisations to identify the traits of their best divisions, departments and employees and by using this data to construct bespoke psychometric tests they are able to identify the most suitable candidates for their roles, thus gaining a competitive advantage over others in their market.