How Algorithms Beat Humans: Importance of Data Analytics for the Future

Big data is a relative newcomer to the recruitment industry. Disruptive Silicon Valley startups, such as Talentbin and Identified, who offered service solutions along the same lines as JobsTheWord, were devoured by Monster and Workday in the US earlier this year.
Their technology is presently being integrated into their organisations’ future strategies to create complex algorithms, ‘machine learning’ engines, which will ensure they totally stay ahead of the big data recruitment curve.

Big Data in Recruitment

The pure joy of big data recruitment is that it serves all organisations. In 2011, JobsTheWord pioneered the datafication of recruitment in the UK, and is currently the only company offering comprehensive big data solutions to the recruitment industry. We currently help over 700 clients – ranging from the giants such as Amazon, Samsung and MBNA, to SMEs and startups – all of which have turned to big data to help with their hiring process.

The main reason employers use our services is the fact big data technology enables them to quickly discover and hire quality people perfect for their roles. For example, it give the ability to personalise profiles for specific skill sets, a Java Developer or a Marketing Director for example, can be completely different profiles in two companies. It is this ability to drill down to such specifics that gives employers the massive advantage of quality over quantity when it comes to applications.

By taking the guesswork out of recruitment, big data analytics also offers employers the benefit of enormous cost savings; they not only save money in the recruitment process as it is a far cheaper solution than using traditional recruitment agencies, but also for the long term as employees stay in the job longer saving time and money on constant retraining and enhancing the employee’s contribution to the performance of the company.

So what exactly is it that makes algorithms beat humans in the recruitment sector?

Time and accuracy: Algorithms – in the form of artificial intelligence – can do in seconds what can take a human hours, days, or even weeks, which means it now plays a key role in the personnel decision making process, and recruiters no longer have to rely on pure instinct and intuition.

JobsTheWord’s big data analytics have the ability to undertake complex predictive analytics to enable them gather recruitment intelligence by offering services such as Heat Maps (Talent Maps) identifying Skills Demand; Supply Density; Hire Forecasting and Cross-skilling.

Big data analytics also powers JobsTheWord Attraction Campaigns resulting in the discovery of the perfect people for roles and quality applications for jobs, and Talent Pipelining (Talent Flow resulting in high quality Talent Pools).

But there is nothing new about ‘big data’ in itself. Many sectors have been tapping into the power of data analytics since the 70s, with the International Data Corporation predicting that the “big data technology and services market will increase in size at a 27 per cent compound annual growth rate through 2017, reaching a value of £19.7 billion ($32.4 billion)” International sporting events, such as the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, give massive opportunities for data gatherers.

Here are just a few examples of other sectors using big data analytics.

Big Data in Sport

With the World Cup in Brazil in full swing, Bernard Marr’s recent article “Big Data and Analytics In Sports: A Game Changer” highlighted ways big data can assist in the world of sport: boosting performance on the field; decreasing injuries and recovery times, or simply in making the game a more entertaining spectacle for the fans. Bernard says: “The volume of data is going through the stratosphere – every day companies, teams or individuals are coming up with ways to capture more data, and record more information about what’s happening on pitches and fields around the world.”

IBM has demonstrated how it will leverage big data technology to bring enhanced coverage to this year’s Wimbledon tennis championship.

Big Data in Astronomy

Astronomers are attempting to catalogue and unlock the secrets of the universe by recording the movements in the sky and observing the patterns. KAT-7, a radio telescope constructed in the Northern Cape of South Africa, is currently collecting 2 terabytes of data per second. This is now being extended by thousands more telescopes, covering a square kilometre, taking the collection per second to 30 terabytes. It will be the biggest data collector ever built.

Ross Anderson, senior editor at Aeon Magazine says: “The amount of data we have on our universe is doubling every year thanks to big telescopes and better light detectors. The sensitivity of our detectors means that these enormous images are increasingly dense with pixels, and they’re growing fast – the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, scheduled to become operational in 2015, has a three-billion-pixel digital camera.”

Big Data in Genomics

Genomics is the study of the complete genetic material (genome) of organisms. By sequencing, mapping, and analysing genomes genomics produces huge volumes of data; each human genome has 20,000-25,000 genes comprised of 3 million base pairs. This amounts to 100 gigabytes of data, equivalent to 102,400 photos. Driven by advances in technology that have dramatically reduced costs, Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS) are expanding on the Human Genome Project in discovering connections between genes and diseases.

Dr Bonnie Feldman says: “In this new data field, companies are approaching the collection, analysis, and turning of data into usable information from a variety of angles.”

Big Data in Crime Prediction

We create trillions of bytes of data every day – from digital pictures and videos, to purchase transaction records, and mobile phone GPS signals. The police and intelligence services are turning to this “big data” to identify patterns that could help them solve crimes, and some experts believe big data might be able to help predict crime too.

Susan Watts covered the topic in April for BBC’s Newsnight programme [VIDEO].

Big Data in Advertising

Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB)’s Digital Adspend report, conducted by PwC,  revealed that UK mobile ad spend broke the billion pound mark in 2013, hitting £1.03bn, 93 per cent up on the 2012 total of £529m. This means that it now accounts for 16 per cent of all digital advertising spend. Does that mean a better return on investment for brands?

Matthew Bayfield, group director of data for marketing agency Ogilvy EMEA says: “Companies are fearful of losing competitive advantage if they do not keep up.” “If I’ve got the choice between a simplified customer experience that has been enriched by data, and one that feels clunky and old-fashioned, which one am I going to favour?”

Big Data in City Trading

The city trading Data Miners are ‘scientists in the city’ – astrophysicists, cosmologists, computer scientists and mathematicians – and are known as Quants (Quantitative Analysts). BBC Horizon’s ‘The Age of Big Data’ programme screened last year told of one trader who believes he has found the secret of making vast amounts of money through data analysis and algorithms. This process is far removed from the chaos of trading floors and from earlier decisions, which were made by pure instinct and intuition. His company invests billions of pounds on the basis of having enough data to predict patterns. He said: “If you have enough data and the expertise to read it you can spot trends and links that no-one else has noticed.”

Original work by: By Sally-Anne Rogers in consultation with Will Crandle, Technical Director at JobsTheWord

Mike Sandiford
Head of Partnerships
0207 193 9931

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