Connecting consumers or users to items in inventories and vice versa are central to businesses that operate in two-sided online marketplaces. SEEK, for instance, strives to better help jobseekers find their dream jobs. GO1, on the other hand, exists to make learning opportunities more accessible and effective for people to progress their careers or to build better lives. Assuming there is adequate scale on both sides of the marketplace, the problem becomes one of matching the two sides. In making items easily findable and discoverable, we improve “liquidity” in those marketplaces, which in turn help build up competitive moats around those businesses. I am fortunate enough to be leading (or have led) teams whose sole aim is to improve the way job ads and learning content are found and discovered in what seems like very similar verticals, or so I thought. In this talk, we unpack three key differences in the mindsets and approaches to improving search and recommendation in the context of learning vs employment using examples from actual projects that my teams and I have delivered at GO1 and SEEK.
Wilson currently heads up the Data Science Group at GO1, the world’s largest compliance, professional development and general training marketplace, which is backed by SEEK and Microsoft. Prior to GO1, he led the team responsible for search improvement at SEEK, serving millions of jobseekers and hirers across Australia and New Zealand. Wilson spent the last decade in various hands-on and leadership roles in academia and industry. He has built a track record of solving user and business problems by adopting the scientific method and product thinking, and moving key business metrics along the way. Wilson achieves them through building capabilities from ground up, attracting and inspiring smart people to push the boundary and translating research into tangible commercial outcomes. He has a PhD in Computer Science from The University of Western Australia on the topic of building ontologies from unstructured text to improve discoverability of documents. He has published over 50 articles and edited books on ontology learning, search, recommendation and conversational systems with over 1000 citations. Wilson occasionally delivers guest lectures at RMIT on data science related subjects.