Monthly Archives: January 2013

Regulatory Environments in Compensation Management

http://www.hrbenefitsalert.com/courts-give-illegal-workers-new-rights/

Photo Credit HR Benefits Alert

On December 7th I sat for the World at Work C1: Regulatory Environments in Compensation Management test. There was a lot going on – I tried the eLearning option, it was a new testing venue for me, and the information itself.

For the T1: Total Rewards Management course I bought the cheapest package only to stretch my annual education reimbursement allowance. I was a nervous wreck not knowing how World at Work testing went, how their materials would prepare one, etc. In the end, I kicked the tests butt passing with a 93%. Despite how it appears with having passed the PHR, FPC, CPP, and now the T1 and C1 I am not a good test taker. I took the SAT three times and never cracked 1100 (out of 1600.) I took the GRE and got another perfectly mediocre score. So the fact I’m doing well on these tests is something I am proud of, though other than putting in the time to repeat the information enough times I’m not sure how I’m doing it.

Since the year was ending, I decided to splurge and test out one of the more expensive learning options World at Work offered – E-Learning. At first I thought it was really cool – I could listen to recordings while multitasking so that I could absorb the information almost like through osmosis in addition to reading, taking summarizing notes, and making/going through flashcards. There was the added benefit that the presenter did include some mnemonics and stories to flesh out the information on the slides (that were identical to the book.)

I passed the C1 course with a 93%.

I had to laugh that it was the exact same pass rate as the T1 course. In the end, I don’t think the recordings helped me any (though they may help others!)

As I did with the T1 course, here are some things about the C1 to prepare one for the test.

  • It is 114 minutes to take the test, not including the system tutorial. (I time it this time, I took 2 minutes to do the tutorial, but the full 6 minutes were taken from my overall countdown.)
  • The test is 110 questions.
  • The end of chapter test questions are on the test itself.
  • Everything is contained within the book.
  • There are some second and third tier reasoning questions; this test was more like the PHR where you had to know your stuff to pick the best question. (Unlike the T1 which was primary level reasoning that is basic regurgitation.) However, that level of reasoning is only about 20% of the test, the rest is primary.
  • Case law was helpful in studying, but did not show up on the test. There were no questions asking about Griggs V. Powers Duke or any other case.
  • There were no “gotcha” questions on minutia like I found on the T1 test (which was only 2-3 questions anyways.)

I was disappointed somewhat that the first testing venue was no longer an option since it was so close to home (5 minute drive!), though it did have it’s own issues (sound proofing.) This venue was odd as well, in it’s own right, though much more professional.

I purposely chose the C1 course during Year End and Annual Enrollment time because it appeared to be mostly information that reinforced basics from the PHR and that come up at work often with clients. Basically, I knew the course would be easier for me than others so I took it during a stressful time frame to balance the over all load on my brain and nerves. I still never managed to get holiday cards out, despite this balance. :

Two down, and seven more courses to go before I get the CCP and a 3% raise. 🙂  

Big Data

http://venturebeat.com/2012/10/17/big-data-startup-splice-machine-breathes-new-life-into-sql-pulls-in-4m/

Photo credit Venture Beat

I’ve been so excited to see that data is a big deal, being discussed much more, and is even considered a trend and the thing in 2013. Being an analytic person, I love data and love sharing both that love and HOW data can be helpful. Data driven decisions, in my humble experience, end up better. It shows progress, profit, areas for improvement/innovation, and helps one reach goals.

Think about the SMART principal – specifically the M part for measure. That is your data. You need to know where you start to know how far you’ve come or have yet to go. You need to know where you are going!

But all that excitement aside, I have two concerns related to The Year of Data.

The first is that having data is one thing, but processing it to be useful is key. Having data is like all the dirt in my backyard. I have lots of dirt, but until it is worked and done so in a specific way, it won’t be a garden or produce vegetables magically.

The second is that data lies. Data can tell you anything you want it to depending on how you manipulate and display it.

So, the questions I pose are these – what are we doing with all this big data? What measures will be discussed to ensure that it is useful and as impartial as possible?