Arbeidsmarktdashboard 2.0: "the TomTom of the job market"

The case
Brainport Network
The goal of the Arbeidsmarktdashboard is to gain data-based insight to tackle the mismatch between supply and demand in the job market. The dashboard is innovative, is up to date, and combines a variety of data sources, helping to create a consistent view of the market. Users can compile their own dashboards, post data visualizations on their own website, and compare different graphs.
Project description
Brainport is a unique network of businesses, government bodies, and knowledge institutes created to develop the south-eastern region of the Netherlands into a leading force in technology. Data on the job market, mobility, and economic development is of vital importance to this network and its stakeholders. The Job Market Dashboard has been around for several years, although it never offered a fully representative picture of the job market as a whole.

For this reason, Brainport Network set Betawerk and research agency E'til the challenge of developing a new data service that combines a variety of different databases and enables sustainable further development. This would allow other provinces, regions, municipalities, and organizations to easily connect to the network.

The project had three basic principles: to make raw data available to researchers, to provide insight via data visualizations, and to give context via articles that tell the story behind the data. A substantial expansion of the number of data sets was also required to enable comparison.

Furthermore, the dashboard had to be introduced to the market as a service that can be customized for specific parties. The dashboard is also part of a growth model: as well as the south-east region of the Netherlands, the plan is to include the rest of the Netherlands and Flanders. The provinces of Limburg, Noord-Brabant, Utrecht, and Drenthe are already connected to the Arbeidsmarktdashboard.

The dashboard is innovative, is up to date, and gives tailor-made insight into the job market. By combining data from Statistics Netherlands, the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV), LISA, Jobfeed, and the SBB (Cooperation Organization for Vocational Education, Training and the Labour Market), users can gain unique insights into the job market. It is also extremely easy to filter the data to suit your needs, e.g. based on themes, regions, sectors, vacancies, or professional groups. Users can compile their own dashboards, post data visualizations on their own website, and compare different graphs, all completely free of charge. All of the data is freely accessible upon creation of an account and can be consulted at all times via mobile devices.

The most important benefit of the revamped dashboard is that all data is now available via the same platform. The dashboard is for local and provincial government bodies, employers, the education sector, municipalities, and the labour force. By giving up-to-date insight and prognoses, all of these users – including policymakers, researchers, and directors – can make optimal decisions. For example, employers can see which regions have a surplus supply of potential employees, governments can substantiate policies, and educational institutions can assess their curricula. Users can also conduct customized analyses of the target groups, e.g. to gain insight into required competencies.

The responses to the Arbeidsmarktdashboard have been very positive. "The new Arbeidsmarktdashboard gives insight into every single dimension of the job market. There's never been anything like it," says Marcel van Brugge, project manager at Brainport Network.

'It's great that we've reached so many partners and can offer continuity to the provinces. Eventually, we want the Job Market Dashboard to become the TomTom of the job market', adds Ton Wilthagen, professor at Tilburg University and Labour Market Project Leader on the Brainport Network Board.
Technical challenges

* A large number of data sets were combined and condensed into the Arbeidsmarktdashboard via a direct link with E'til's data warehouse.

* A large number of visualizations (approx. 60) were realized, with a great deal of attention paid to testing and coordination with other parties involved.

* Personalized dashboard functionality including 'favourites': users can create their own tailor-made dashboard featuring data relevant to them.

* Facility enabling different participating regions/organizations to create a customized home page.


* The main challenge within this project was to create a consistent and reliable data-based picture of the job market. To do so, a large number of data sets – often belonging to different organizations and encompassing a wide variety of themes – had to be combined into a single convenient overview.

* The dashboard needed to be launched on the market as a service that could be customized for specific parties.

* The dashboard also had to be part of a growth model, enabling other parties to connect to the dashboard over time.
Community contributions
Betawerk developed its own module that configures and displays data visualizations via Highcharts, including a link to E'til's data warehouse. Betawerk also incorporated the Flag module to enable users to add data visualizations to their personal dashboards.