The Power of Big Data

We hear so much about big data and as an ex media director of an advertising agency I can understand the fascination with it. We never made a planning or buying decision without analysing the available data;

  • Who is our target audience?
  • Where are they?
  • Why are they there?
  • What message is going to engage given the context of the situation?

We have always had a huge amount of data on which we made these decisions, so when I read about “Big Data” it came as common sense to me. Without data how can you make decisions and equally how can you defend those decisions?

Yes, as Malcolm Gladwell says in blink, our cumulative learning can help us make a ‘good decision’ in the blink of an eye, but data and context provide the backbone of that learning.

We’ll be covering this topic at the North American Job Board Summit with the input of one of IBM’s top consultants. I’m also delighted that David Bernstein, VP of eQuest’s Big Data Division will also be joining as a ‘content contributor’.

David and I were discussing some interesting patterns they had seen with millennials applying for jobs online and David shared these insights with me:

“Corporate HR departments are continually searching for new ways to attract candidates. eQuest’s Big Data Division, a company that tracks online job performance including what devices candidates use to apply, reported a steady increase in candidates applying for jobs through their game device browsers.

More and more companies are rushing to install mobile apply methods to better serve candidates applying for jobs through smart phones and iPads. An ever increasing amount of traffic is coming from another direction not often tapped by recruitment advertisers.

We have discovered increased candidate job viewing and response activity from a myriad of devices including:

  • The LG SmartTV operating system
  • Sony’s SmartTV OS
  • LiveArea – Sony’s Handheld Game Unit OS
  • Orbis – Sony’s PS4 game console OS
  • Amiga, the old system for the Commodore PET computers

Many hard-core gamers have installed the OS on their computers enabling them to play the games that were popular from that time period.

Other interesting facts showed:

  • 98% of the gaming candidate traffic originated from 5 specific countries, namely the United States, Canada, Britain, Australia, and Ireland.
  • Gamers viewed and applied for jobs at all hours of the day or night. No specific trending.
  • Gamers were most interested in applying for technology positions; more specifically in, you guessed it, the gaming industry.
  • The highest percentage of candidates coming from gaming operating software (in order from highest to lowest) included:

– Xbox

– Nintendo

– Sony Playstation

– Vita – Sony’s handheld gaming unit

Although overall statistics show less than 1% of candidates apply through these methods, this 1% still generates a great deal of incoming traffic for companies posting jobs in the technical sector. This is an important factor that should be considered as companies look for new avenues to harvest technical talent.”

David has shared a classic way that “Big Data” can be used in a practical way;

  • My audience are Designers/Gamers/IT Developers.
  • They are hard to find
  • They are difficult to engage and attract
  • BUT… They are gamer
  • They seem to be OK with applying via a gaming device
  • BUT a ‘traditional posting’ might not work… so engage with a game.

The Power of Big Data

Keith Robinson (Co-Founder of 52N, an Integrated Resourcing Solutions Company) is a regular contributor to our Blog.



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