Mapping and other visualization techniques to catalog skills and provide orientation for talent management

Posted on November 21, 2008. Filed under: English, maps | Tags: , , , , |


Talent and career management experts have long tried to catalog skills and capabilities, using taxonomies, or more recently folksonomies (see my previous blog post). For an easier presentation of those, many visualization techniques have been used, from interactive and multiple dimension maps, to more simple infographics based on common metaphors.

I just discovered Deloitte’s latest paper on talent management in an ad in the HBR, of which I have extracted (fair use I assume) the key visual below, using the popular “periodic table” visualization metaphor :


Deloitte's talent periodic table


While I hope this will help HR professionals and employees to visualize what is requested from them (like a “cheat sheet”), I can only hope this is only the first of many more visuals to come. The other ones I can think of are :


  • Orientation : provide a map of the routes for career development, each road bearing the signs of the training needed and the achievements requested to move sideways (one function, one business unit or one country to another), or up (increased responsabilities, position or salary). One of the best example I have seen so far is the classical map from the French ONISEP (organization for the orientation of students), as you can find examples below. Other techniques could be using mind maps or radial maps,

Onisep : orientation apres la classe de 3e


Onisep : orientation apres le bac

  • Update and interactivity : for the data to remain consistent over time (such cataloging requires excessive amount of resources to “audit” the workforce that can only be done once every few years), and to be truly useful to others than HR professionnals in charge of career management and training planning (for example to search a person with specific skills and experience for a task, or to share best practices), a company should add another layer using folksonomies, and a visualization / navigation interface (see my previous post)

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Building and searching a skills database using a tagging approach

Posted on September 1, 2008. Filed under: English, Knowledge Management, network_map, Tagcloud | Tags: , , , , |

In the late 90’s, when Knowledge Management was progressing in corporations, skills databases hold great promises. Some companies started huge programs to analyze, categorize and document employees skills, ending with central databases that would not evolve and not be used.

The development of some web2.0 tools and usage may signal the return of an improved version :
– relying on informal, decentralized, evolutive tagging to describe one’s skillset
– providing an inutuitive and dynamic interface to search through this database, using tagclouds and network maps

Some early attemps or interfaces can be found on the web :

Social networks and people search engine :
Much like you use the back of a business card you’ve just been handed to write down a few words to describe where/when you’ve met and what you discussed, some professional social networks (like Xing or MyBlogLog) and people search engine (like Spock) allow you to tag your contacts :

Spock people search engine

MyBlogLog social network

Business cards :
Ooprint launched a very successful template for business card amongst web2.0 buffs

Ooprint's Ziki template

Facebook applications :
Ask your friends to rate you (Social Profile), to tag you (Define Me), to give you nicknames (Niknames), or simply view your friend network differently (Socialistics), …

Define Me example

Socialistics popularity cloud

Interactive visual tag based search engines :
The best example is probably Quintura, as this example on ReadWriteWeb shows it. The tagcloud is interactive so you can “navigate” from tag to tag.

Quintura on RWW

And finally a more graphical / artistic view :
If meaning and interactivity is not what you’re looking for, Wordle may be the tool you’re searching for.

Wordle from Paul Greenberg on CRM

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