As a member of the LinkedIn, an online professional network, I get pleasantly surprised each time by its suggested list of “People You May Know.” Pleasantly surprised because the list is pretty darn good, better than 80% accurate.
That is not by chance. How LinkedIn does it? I don’t know. But I suspect it has to do with predictive analytics.
Predictive analytics sounds technical, but it’s applications is easy to spot. It appears usually in the form of an auto suggestion such as: others bought this have also viewed xyz or traffic on your area is heavy, etc.
Different from “cookie,” an embedded tracker on your device, a predictive analytics contains insights about you. It combs through your preferences (big data), develops a pattern (modeling), and suggests relevant options based on the insights gained from the modeling.
Similarly, LinkedIn would have to wade through the data on people with common experiences as my reported education, work history, or locality over time. Imaging all that and more!
Of course, better predictive analytic modeling begets better suggestions. That is why I am impressed with the LinkedIn’s “people you may know.”
The trouble is, I spend way too much time going over the LinkedIn list. Because it helps me remembering of many people that I knew. It’s like a trip down the memory lane each time.
Have you used LinkedIn? If so what do you think about its People You May Know?