I came across this interesting article in the WSJ describing the rise of statistical analysis in the human resources field apparently inspired by the movie Moneyball, starring geeky Brad Pitt and Hollywood dreamboat Jonah Hill.
Quoting the piece:
“We’re seeing a lot of companies actually aspire to that movie,” said [James Raybould, director of insights at LinkedIn] last week during a panel on big data at the Impact 2012: The Business of Talent conference convened by consulting group Bersin & Associates. “How do I make Moneyball for HR?”
I couldn’t help thinking that it shouldn’t have taken a Hollywood movie to alert anyone to the fact that data helps make good decisions.
But trying to identify the high performers based on what University they went to is a bridge too far to my mind. The key ingredient in most high performers is character, not education (a point demonstrated extremely well in Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers).