The Washington Post reported last week that the federal government of the USA surpassed companies such as LinkedIn and Monster in terms of just how much data they hold on people’s professional lives.
As a result, the President’s 2016 budget proposal included a $5 million request to study and test approaches to modernise and potentially streamline data collection for O*Net, the Labor Department’s Occupational Information Network Web site, and the closest thing the US has to a standard national data base.
A group was set up and led by Aneesh Chopra, the first (now former) chief technology officer at the White House. One of their initial projects was to ‘scrape’ information from Monster and LinkedIn to create a job portal called ‘Veterans Talent’, which mapped the locations of unemployed ex-armed forces personnel to geographic regions that had suitable job openings. Chopra said the experience “taught them the importance of open data”.
Improvements to O*Net will seek to provide “up-to-date coverage of occupations and skills, particularly for high-growth, changing industries.” But Chopra is about to do with big data what I and rest of the JobsTheWord data science team began over four years ago. As a result we have already created the technology required to utilise open data and match people to skills and location. Why has the UK government not already convened a committee to do the very same thing? Our big data technology and expertise could easily facilitate a group such as this in the UK so we can lead in the field of big data recruitment. Why is the UK being left behind in Big Data? We invented the computer for goodness sake!
Pen is now firmly in hand to ask the very same question of our Department of Work and Pensions. I’ll keep you posted!