Are You a Networking Expert? Big Data May Have You Beat
It’s not what you know, but who you know.
It’s not what you know, but who you know.
This adage has been proving itself true for ages. When it comes to finding work on an individual level, most of us have experienced either getting a job because we knew someone in the organization, or someone else getting a job instead of us, even though we were better qualified, because they had some sort of connection in the company. Networking can be just as important, if not more important, than the actual skills you possess.
Networking, however, is much more than finding connections so you can land a successful job. It serves so many other purposes — getting kids into top schools, seeing the best doctors, shopping at the best stores and having vehicles serviced by the best auto mechanics. It plays a part in everything we do.
And more importantly for most of us, networking is vital to our company or schools success as well. It helps identify the best future talent, key potential clients, and top prospective donors, among numerous other things. It’s key for any business or school to succeed. The problem that most entities face is actually finding those key connections that can make all the difference. Now, with big data in the cloud, using big data to network is easier than ever.
An important example of this kind of networking with big data is a company called Relationship Science, or RelSci for short. Seeking to change the way individuals and companies network, RelSci has come up with a business model, different from typical social media sites or social networking sites, because it doesn’t rely on users to generate the information or provide the connections. That is all done by RelSci. The information comes from verifiable public records that have been compiled over years by the RelSci team. The site also doesn’t concern itself with the average Joe. Instead they focus on people with perceived klout — thought leaders, financial wizards, industry leaders, etc. RelSci shows how your company, school or you individually may be connected to these individuals. While showing how you’re connected, it doesn’t provide anyway for you to make that connection through the site like LinkedIn does. There’s no InMail to send or LinkedIn-type invitations. You have to do the networking on your own.
What then, can the RelSci example and other sites teach us about big data and networking?
1. More connections
Big data’s ability to go through so much information from so many sources allow it to show connections that aren’t visible to the naked eye. It makes connections that wouldn’t and couldn’t be recognized in any other way. It’s connecting the world, or showing how the world is connected, in a way never done before. That means great things for businesses and people. It’s opening doors that were closed before.
2. Higher Quality
Big data improves not just the quantity of connections, but the quality as well. Businesses and individuals want to be connected with influentials that can alter, for the better, their direction. They want to connect with the best in the industry. They’re looking for people who can provide potential clients, potential employees and potential donors. The number of connections are important, but more vital are how important those connections are. Big data brings higher quality connections.
3. There’s still work to be done
Even with big data and the connections it provides, both in quantity and quality, there’s still work that you or your business is going to have to undertake. Simply because a connection is listed, doesn’t mean it’s going to be a good connection. An acquaintance isn’t always a friend, and someone from the same organization isn’t always going to be the best person to connect with. While systems like RelSci show how you are connected to high profile individuals, that doesn’t mean the people that lead up the end person are always ideal to go through. Companies have to do their own research to make sure they are going through the right channels.
Big data is changing the networking game for the better and making it easier and more efficient for individuals and businesses to see important connections and then find ways to make the most of them. It doesn’t, however, completely eliminate the responsibility companies have, to do their own background research.
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