Governments around the world are looking to new data sources to gain previously undiscovered insights to deliver the best policy and service outcomes for the public. In October 2017, the Australian Treasury and LinkedIn embarked on a pilot project to gain a deeper understanding of Australia’s labor markets. This public-private partnership presents a unique opportunity for the treasury to derive new data-driven insights about industry composition, employment trends, and job creation, which could potentially improve economic productivity and living standards for citizens.
The treasury advises the government on a wide range of social and economic issues, including macroeconomic conditions, forecasting, and policy options. LinkedIn operates the largest professional network on the internet, with more that 530 million members in over 200 countries covering 50,000 skills, 9 million employers, over 120 million open jobs, and 29,000 educational institutions. The treasury’s domain knowledge of economic modeling and policy design, paired with LinkedIn’s rich dataset and specialized analytics capability, provides a detailed and dynamic narrative of the Australian labor market. LinkedIn data also allows for employment trends, such as hiring, employer skills demand, and inter- and intranational talent migrations, to be tracked in near real time, thereby more accurately reflecting the current state of the jobs market.
Audrey Lobo-Pulo and Nick O’Donnell explore the very real benefits that can be achieved when governments work together with the private sector and explain how to successfully implement these partnerships, given the challenges of data sharing across public and private organizations, including the need to build mutual confidence and trust in the results. They also demonstrate an iterative benchmarking approach, in which LinkedIn data is compared with official national statistics in an effort to better understand LinkedIn’s sample and how it can be used within existing frameworks. Audrey and Nick analyze different data features to determine meaningful indicators that may be useful for refining existing models. These new insights are visually communicated using D3.
Audrey Lobo-Pulo is a senior advisor at the Australian Treasury. Originally a physicist working in high-speed data transmission, Audrey moved into economic modeling, working across a wide range of policy issues including taxation, housing, social security, labor markets, and population demographics. An advocate for open government and the use of open source software in government modeling, Audrey’s current passion is bringing data science to public policy analytics. She is also an advocate for inclusion and diversity in the workplace.
Nick O’Donnell is LinkedIn’s director of public policy and government affairs for the Asia Pacific region, where he leads the company’s efforts to build productive partnerships with governments, decision makers, and policy influencers throughout the region. His role includes policy and political outreach, government-focused data-sharing projects, work on technology policy issues, and the development of workforce and education policy solutions that are at the core of LinkedIn’s corporate mission and its overarching vision of creating economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce. Previously, Nick was legal counsel for Seven West Media and head of public policy in Asia at Yahoo. Nick has served as the chair and treasurer of the Asia Internet Coalition, leading joint-industry advocacy across Asia and locally as a committee member of the Communications and Media Law Association. He holds a combined bachelor of media and bachelor of laws and a master’s degree in media, information technology, and communications law.
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