LinkedIn manually searched its database to find Kurt Wagner his future self – “a user who fit my projected career path, predicting where I might be professionally in five years.” Lutz Finger, LinkedIn’s director of data science & engineering, was responsible for the manual search.
Step one: “Starting with LinkedIn’s total user base of 300 million, Finger first identified the pool of users who were once journalists — this being the only profession I’ve ever had. Finger entered keyword searches like “writer,” “editor,” and “journalist,” meaning the system would also find variations such as “senior writer” or “freelance journalist.” He also kept the search relatively simple, to profiles written in English.”
Step two: “The data claims I’ll be out of journalism by year eight, so Finger and his team narrowed the search by identifying users who left the journalism field between years 3-8 in their career.”
Step three: “Finger and his team combed my profile to determine which career events and skills were most relevant to Future Kurt, and came up with five main criteria” to filter out the pool uf LinkedIn users.
Step four: “A portion of LinkedIn’s public relations team took the information they knew about me from our frequent interactions, and boiled the list down themselves.”
Step five: “With three candidates remaining, I was asked to pick the one I identified most closely with.”