jueves, 9 de junio de 2011

The value of data

These days I'm reading the book Bursts: The hidden pattern behind everything We do. This is a really and inspirational book that make's one self to reflection a bit.
As much you read, more conviced you get about the value and the need to record as much data as possible.
If you have a web site and you records registers, you'll agree with me that only one register don't helps you to discover anything special, but if you have a hightly web site, as much you read more knowledge you'll get.
Sometimes people make a mistake wondering to record complex information. Often with simple data you can work a lot.
Some examples:
  • Registering the gender of your users: if you have Advertising in your site you could segment your campaings getting better results. 
  • Registering historical data: here you could find the changes along the life of your customer. If you detect similar patterns, you could predict the future and you could identifty which customers will have the same behaviour in the future 
  • And even more... 
One interesting sample about the amount of knowledge that produces a silly experiment is the web Where's George. The idea of the site is that people registers the numbers of the bill's and the place where one recived the bill. With this simple action they have enought information to predict the movement of people and the spread of an hypotetical disease. With this "game" we're discovering our movement pattern that can be used to define strategies to prevent disease.

Image of an Air Hub

I'm trying to apply that in the Career Planning Arena as a way to help people to improve their career, to be more prepared for the future and more ambitious to help my country be more competitive and decrease the huge unemployement rate (over 20% average, but near 60% on youngest people!!!).
The idea is to get information about the professional careers of the people, that means a lot of CVs for example and analyze it with modern SNA techniques. I have this information, but some of them is low quality data.
But if you don't have this information stored on your Database, what can you do?

  • Start a proces to get the information that you need on a web site (I'm sure the data will be valuable, but you'll waste a lot of time).
  • Go to social media sites and start to crawl personal information. Today is quite easy to crawl a site like Facebook or Linked In, and the information that they have is quite good to start.

What that means is that tomorrow everyone could develop a career plan site.
Why? Because on internet there is a huge and open amount of almost open information, and these will be a norm (Linked In, Facebook, Twitter, . . .)
Technology is everyday easier to manage and Cloud Computing raises down the prices to rent a server. What that means is that more people could be able to start a simple business from good and authentic ideas.
Today there are some sites that are starting to get the first results.
Companies that were big in the past but they didn't do their homework could disapear if they don't reorient their business.

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