Breaking down data silos to reduce unemployment – GCN


Remove data silos to reduce unemployment

A nonprofit has developed two solutions to help states use data to improve their workforce.

One is affectionately known as the “pizza tracker,” said Scott Jensen, CEO of Research Improving People’s Lives (RIPL), a nonprofit that was incubated at Brown University as a political laboratory. . It uses cloud computing to allow Unemployment Insurance (UI) applicants to track the status of their claims, much like Domino’s web tool allows customers to track their pizza orders, Jensen said.

The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (DLT), of which Jensen was director until February, was the first to use it. During the pandemic, it partnered with RIPL to launch a pandemic unemployment assistance application in the Amazon Web Services cloud. Today we call it Online user interface.

DLT and RIPL have replicated the entire UI database, stored in an AS / 400 mainframe, to the cloud using Qlik Replicate, allowing organizations to integrate data from sources to site to Amazon clouds.

“The source of truth is the mainframe ground system, but the cloud-based system is synchronized with the on-premise system. Then we can work in the cloud to add functionality, ”Jensen said. “As the waters rose, we were going to get certification in the cloud, we would hook up a cloud-based call center – all these different small but strategically important interventions to get this thing to the cloud” during the influx of people. ‘user interface applications last year.

This got them to think about getting people back to work when the health crisis subsided and the solution of data requalification for professional opportunities was born. It uses artificial intelligence, machine learning, and secure cloud computing to bring together previously siled government administrative data, such as wages, unemployment insurance, and job training program records. DOORS then analyzes the data and makes suggestions on career paths and training and retraining opportunities.

To use it, residents of the state log in, answer questions about past jobs, education, and skills, then upload a resume.

“Our team has been working on sophisticated subject modeling that will extract skills from your resume,” Jensen said. “A lot of modeling topics are just work matches, [so it will] do so, but then adding the context of spatial relationships in resumes. “

As a result, users see the types of jobs held by other people with the same skills and get suggestions on available jobs and training. They can click to apply for a job or register for training. States can choose to have DOORS email users a list of results, Jensen added.

In addition, they can discover a new career path. This is because DOORS also operates the state database with information on the income of each employee of W2-holding each quarter. With this data, DOORS then develops a holistic understanding of career changes, as it can see that, say, 2,000 people worked in one industry before successfully transitioning to another, allowing it to recommend a similar transition for the people of this first industry who are now absent. of work.

Jensen likens it to how the Netflix streaming service suggests viewers other shows to watch based on their viewing habits and others with similar tastes.

“It is not intended to replace professional coaches or people who work in one-stop-shop systems in labor departments,” he said. “It’s supposed to be a tool that people can use online or, better yet, use in conjunction with professional coaches and others. “

The next step for DOORS is a portal for employers. Employers will enter information about open jobs, then the solution will search for the skills of the unemployed. When it finds a match, it alerts the employer that, for example, person 1234 meets the qualifications for the job. If the employer wishes to connect, the solution will alert the job seeker and make the introduction.

“If you can use AI to look at someone’s qualifications and try to find jobs that match them, you can also start with jobs and search for people,” Jensen said.

Data Sharing in Colorado

Colorado Department of Advanced Education, Department of Labor and Employment, and Workforce Development Council partner to work with RIPL on Research Data Lake, a secure system based on the cloud which stores, anonymizes and integrates administrative data.

It will work in tandem with the state’s existing data trust. Built with BrightHive, trust, a legal structure, maintains and manages how data is used and shared. The idea is to ‘create that space where we can – with the data that contributes to data trust and the research data lake – delve into various use cases and research questions, hopefully helping us. to better align everything we do and better inform policies, ”said Michael Vente, director of performance and senior director of research and data governance at the Ministry of Higher Education.

“I’m really looking forward to harnessing the data available to us, state agencies, in more innovative and effective ways to tell a more holistic story about an individual’s experience when interacting with various programs and at what does it look like when he… any kind of education program and then go into the workforce, ”he added.

Additionally, with the research data lake, agencies will be able to better link post-secondary degrees awarded to the skills the workforce needs to better fill the gaps.

About the Author

Stephanie Kanowitz is a freelance writer based in Northern Virginia.

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