Researchers at the University of Indiana have created the first global workflow map in collaboration with the world’s largest professional social network, LinkedIn.
According to the researchers, the result of the study represents a powerful tool to understand the flow of people between industries and regions in the United States and beyond. It could also help policymakers better understand how to address critical skill gaps in the labor market or connect workers with new opportunities in nearby communities.
The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, showed some unexpected connections between economic sectors, such as strong ties between the credit card and airline industries. It also identified growing industries during the study period from 2010 to 2014, including the pharmaceutical and oil and gas industries, with skills in demand, such as equipment management and project management, as well as declining industries, such as retail and Telecommunications
The University of Indiana (IU) researchers created the map using LinkedIn data from 500 million people between 1990 and 2015, including about 130 million job transitions between more than 4 million companies. The researchers gained access to this rare data as one of the 11 teams selected to participate in the inaugural LinkedIn Economic Graphics Research program in 2015.
They later became one of only two teams, IU and MIT, selected to continue their work beyond 2017. The team worked closely with LinkedIn engineers, including Michael Conover, a graduate of the Faculty of Computer Science, IU Computing and Engineering and senior data scientist on LinkedIn at the time of the study.
In a blog post on LinkedIn, Park compares the study with a “road map” towards the future economy, since the first step on any trip requires understanding the current landscape.
“We hope that this study will provide a powerful basis for an additional systematic analysis of geoindustrial clusters in the context of commercial strategy, urban economy, regional economy and international development fields, in addition to providing useful information for policy makers and business leaders”, he said.