LinkedIn Could Become the Greatest Source for Economic Data

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Well, at least labor market data. Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, recently posted an article on his blog about the future goals of the company and where he see’s the value added. The platform is already a go-to professional resource for many, a social network that extends beyond friends and family to business relationships.

Weiner explains:

Reid Hoffman and the other founders of LinkedIn initially created a platform to help people tap the value of their professional networks, and developed an infrastructure that could map those relationships up to three degrees. In doing so, they provided the foundation for what would eventually become the world’s largest professional graph.

Our current long-term vision at LinkedIn is to extend this professional graph into an economic graph by digitally manifesting every economic opportunity in the world (full-time and temporary); the skills required to obtain those opportunities; the profiles for every company in the world offering those opportunities; the professional profiles for every one of the roughly 3.3 billion people in the global workforce; and subsequently overlay the professional knowledge of those individuals and companies onto the graph.

Once realized, we then want to get out of the way and allow all of the nodes on this network to connect seamlessly by removing as much friction as possible and allowing all forms of capital, e.g. working capital, intellectual capital, and human capital, to flow to where it can best be leveraged. In doing so, we believe we’ll be able to help lift the global economy.

LinkedIn could become one of the more powerful tools for economic data and research that exists by bridging the gap between unemployed workers to education, skill and employer demand. These interactions, on a global scale, would allow economist (and other social scientists) the opportunity to analyze and reform current systems to better support growth and innovation.

He also believes that:

With the existence of an economic graph, we could look at where the jobs are in any given locality, identify the fastest growing jobs in that area, the skills required to obtain those jobs, the skills of the existing aggregate workforce there, and then quantify the size of the gap. Even more importantly, we could then provide a feed of that data to local vocational training facilities, junior colleges, etc. so they could develop a just-in-time curriculum that provides local job seekers the skills they need to obtain the jobs that are and will be, and not just the jobs that once were.

An economic graph of this scale will change how employers and prospective employees interact and drastically increase research opportunities that have never been seen before. With 187 million individuals and 2.8 million companies already members, it will definitely be exciting to witness the company’s global aspirations evolve.