“What Do We Do with All This Data?” According to LinkedIn
“What Do We Do with All This Data?” According to Scott Nicholson, a data scientist at LinkedIn, there's a whole lot to be done with it. I met with Scott at the Big Data Innovation conference here in San Francisco, hosted by the IE Group, where his presentation announced LinkedIn’s mission is to “connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.”
LinkedIn has a gauge of the employment world that no one else has. This puts the company solely in touch with employment trends like credentials, hiring, industries, and even key words. This uniquely LinkedIn report showed the most overused buzzwords in the U.S. in 2011. While I haven’t found an updated report for 2012, certainly the term “ubiquitous” should be included.
So what’s the significance of fall this? Well, for one, companies can use this kind of data in their operational strategies. Understanding trends in hiring, turnover, and promotions can help determine your capital outlay focus. The depth of LinkedIn’s data is extremely valuable for companies.
But what about LinkedIn? They use the data is precisely as Scott illustrated at this week’s conference. With the richness of their data, LinkedIn is able to glean useful, meaningful insights in two essential ways:
#1 – Using it to build exciting user products
#2 – For uncovering insights people otherwise might not find
In the first practice, LinkedIn has a product analytics team focused on prototyping data-driven products. One of these products, "People you may know" makes inferences on people users may want to connect with, helping users expand their professional circles. Another, the InMaps product, released last year, uses data to provide a visual representation of users’ networks.