How can we unlock the power of alternative data sources to shape the skills and industries of the future economy? This was the hot topic on the agenda when data analytics experts from Nous Group teamed up with the Chief Economist at Burning Glass Technologies for a pair of forums in Melbourne and Sydney in early March.
Nous, Australia’s leading local management consultancy, has recently launched its data and analytics capability, while Burning Glass is a global firm that specialises in real-time labour market analysis.
Burning Glass has analysed 8 million Australian job advertisements to gain insight into career paths and skill development. At the forums, dozens of invited guests from across Nous’ client network heard how Burning Glass’s approach to data is transforming the way we think about the labour market.
“For a long time there’s been talk about evidence-based decision making for policy makers, kids, parents and employers,” said Nous Director Peter Ellis. “Suddenly we’ve got this amazing source of data. The job advert data is an example of something that was inconceivable 20 years ago and very difficult 10 years ago.”
Burning Glass and Nous have formed a collaboration to help Australian organisations make better use of real-time labour market data. For Nous Chief Economist Jenny Gordon, the data was exciting because it showed the depreciation of human capital, the extent to which some skills lose value over time.
“What they found is people who did STEM [science, technology, engineering and maths] careers, which we’re always encouraging our kids to do, actually start with a wage premium but that premium is eroded by year 10 unless they go off and reskill,” she said.
For Nous Principal Hamish Ride, the data had implications across the whole economy as occupational and industry shocks lead to displacement in the workforce.
“What that does is create opportunity to redeploy labour to higher-value purposes,” he said. “What we’re finding from the Burning Glass data is the actually transitional step to go from one role to another is actually much smaller than we think. There are actually a lot of common skills that enable that transition.”
Burning Glass Chief Economist Bledi Taska said the data had many powerful implications.
“My vision for the use of real-time labour market information data is to actually be used by the majority of institutions and the majority of economic and statistical centres,” he said. “There’s a lot of adoption that is already happening, but I think for the moment they are scratching the surface.”
Nous Principal David Diviny, who chaired the Melbourne event recently used the data to explore how networks offer a new way to think about career development and labour market transitions.
Several Nous clients, including policy makers and education providers, are currently benefiting from Nous’ expert analysis of Burning Glass data.