Product Overview: Demographic Audit and Location Rating Tool by GeoLabour

By Hal Reid

GeoLabour Ltd.
132 James's Street
Dublin 8, Ireland
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FAX: ++
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Finding a highly skilled labor pool is becoming more and more of a challenge for many enterprises. Recently, Bill Gates was quoted by the Reuters news agency as saying that the West is not supplying enough IT talent, and that the search for talent is moving to the former Soviet block and other places. We have also recently seen evidence of a coming shortage of government workers.

So companies are looking outside the US for skilled labor and are considering outsourcing as an option. But how do you know where to look for people, especially if you have a specific need and a particular geography in mind? That's where GeoLabour's application can help. Demographic Audit is "a forward looking, local mobility, local demographics and local socio-economics projections tool." "Forward looking" means the product can forecast as far as 20 years into the future. It uses Microsoft MapPoint, along with statistical and graphing software that comes from GeoLabour. (Evidently the product supports other mapping platforms as well.) Based on my look at it, I would say this is "very serious" software, specifically focused and aiming to solve a particular challenge.

Here are some examples, which I found in the company's literature, of queries you would be able to make. The assumption below is that you are looking for a specific target group of female college graduates.
  • How many female college graduates will there be in 2018 in your country, compared to other countries?
  • Is your company's current location within your country in a high growth area for this demographic?
  • If not, where are the high-growth locations for this particular demographic in your country?
  • Assuming you are currently located in California and want to stay in the state, where in California does this demographic exist, and where will it exist in the future? Are there higher concentrations of this demographic in neighboring states, and if so which ones?
Based on the outcome of these queries, you can create your own location ratings for age, gender and level of education. You could then theoretically optimize your portfolio of company locations based on this information.

Using the "specify age distribution" user interface shown below, you can specify the ideal age distribution of the potential labor pool.

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Below, you can specify educational attainment, gender, etc., and see the results in a thumbnail map.

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You can rank and rate locations, and look at a variety of other metrics. You can look at an age ratio for any actual or projected year, projected growth of the population in a specified gender/age group, or look at the projected gender/age group-specific growth of population having a certain educational attainment level, etc. You could take a look at worker turnover as it relates to specific age groups in specific regions, and have the opportunity to think strategically about how to handle those changes.

Below is an example of the user interface for looking at multiple locations.

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The software also allows you to graphically compare specific areas as they compare to the country as a whole. Below, the graph shows North Carolina male employment by age.

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Even more comprehensive is the distribution chart of the employable population of Orange, North Carolina, shown below.

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Because the software is integrated with MapPoint, you can also map results, as shown below.

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With this focus on labor pool identification, GeoLabour has expanded the demographic analysis envelope. If we use Bill Gates' example of expanding the search for high tech workers, the need for this type of analysis could be mainstream very soon. In the field I come from - retail network development - there has always been the assumption that if you build a store, there will be someone available to work in it. But what if you built a store and then found you couldn't staff it? GeoLabour's solution helps you anticipate and deal with that kind of question. It could even help you tap in to sources of employees you never knew existed. A product demo version is available for download.

Published Thursday, November 16th, 2006

Written by Hal Reid

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