July 2, 2012 by Shoshana Deutschkron

What is the oConomy?
A stream of new, data-based insights into the way the world is working.

What data source is the oConomy using?
The data driving the oConomy is data we collect as part of running the world’s largest online workplace. Each day, we record jobs posted on Desk, applicants sent, hours worked, tests taken, etc., for all participants in our market. This level of detail gives us an unprecedented, amazingly rich view into the workings of a real labor market. And while this view is of course interesting to oDesk and to our contractors and clients, we hope our audience is broader: never before has it been possible to know so much about how the world works.

Who’s behind the oConomy?
oDesk’s Research team, composed of data scientists and economists. They tend to be pretty modest, but I think I’m allowed to say I’m a bit in awe. A quick run down of their credentials includes PhDs from Stanford, MIT, Harvard and Columbia, professors from Stanford and NYU, and past talks at myriad universities (HBS, Wharton, University College London, University of Chicago). These are the people whose work will be featured in the oConomy.

What sort of questions does the oConomy investigate?
The oConomy will be an adventure. We can’t say exactly where our data will take us, since the way the world works is evolving rapidly. But at a high level, we will be shining light on questions such as:

  • Is online work expanding global employment opportunities?
  • How and where is the market for online work growing?
  • In what ways is online work changing the way people work?
  • What interesting geographic patterns are emerging?
  • Which skills are most in demand?

Why did we decide to share our “oConomy” insights?
oDesk has a philosophy of openness that, thanks to our co-founders, has been with us since our start. We set out to change the way people work for the better, and sharing our insights is part of our effort to do so. This philosophy has in turn attracted the great minds on oDesk’s Research Team, who enjoy being part of our mission.

Check out the first oConomy post here!

I couldn’t be more excited to see where the oConomy’s insights take us and, in the spirit of sharing, invite your comments—what do you think would be fascinating to investigate from oDesk’s data?

Shoshana Deutschkron

Senior Director of Communications

As Senior Director of Communications, Shoshana brings to Elance-oDesk extensive experience in strategic communications for the technology industry. Her unique data-driven background helps uncover insights from Elance-oDesk’s online workplace data. Prior to Elance-oDesk, Shoshana was a Vice President at market research firm Penn Schoen Berland, where she provided research-based communications counsel for companies including Ernst & Young, HP, EA and eBay. Throughout her career, she… read more

  • Ross

    I speak for an oDesk employer with billings of over $20,000 on oDesk. I am very unhappy that you removed the oConomy charts. Your quite infrequent, in-depth blog articles have none of the information I want to see. Bring back the charts immediately!

    • http://gravatar.com/jorgefsb jorgefsb

      I second this… We miss the charts and valued them greatly!!! Please bring them back. Thnx. Y.

  • Desperate Job Seeker

    Honestly I am quite disappointed when I couldn’t find the basic stats of current ‘buying’ trends anymore. Please let us make our own judgement :-)

  • Sudhindra Subodha

    One question I would love to see oConomy investigate is, how to measure online productivity, particularly in the software development area?

    Do you think this would be possible?


    • http://www.odesk.com Jenna Weiner

      Hi Sudhindra,

      Thanks so much for your suggestion! We will pass it on to the research team to see what they think. Thanks!

      • Brent

        I am doing my Masters research on Odesk and online IT outsourcing and was using the old charts and data. Where’d they go?! :/ I am scrambling to find them. Any chance I can get some information for my research if I emailed you guys?

        Please let me know

        Brent M.
        Masters Candidate
        International Business Program
        EAFIT University
        Medellin, Colombia

        • http://gravatar.com/mattwrhodes mattwrhodes

          Hi, the charts were a great at-a-glance indicator at the activity on oDesk, I’m confused as to why you’d take them down, I found them very useful when referring to oDesk’s “oConomy” as an affiliate and when recommending it as an outsourcing solution to my partners.

          Please restore them!

  • Josh Breinlinger

    What happened to the old oConomy? Taking down all those charts?

    • http://www.odesk.com Jenna Weiner

      Hi Josh,

      Correct — the old oConomy has been replaced by the new ‘oConomy’ section of the blog. We are excited that this new home will allow us to explore really interesting data analyses and reports in a more in-depth way. Stay tuned!

      • Asher Mehboob

        But your reader would like to have graphical representation as well. It was very useful. Please let us have those charts back!

      • https://www.facebook.com/swdev Eko Suprapto Wibowo

        Unfortunately, it’s not :)

        We desperately need the old oConomy chart. Really.

        The old one making us more understand what technology trend currently exist in oDesk.
        A simple answer to , “Should I learn Python or Ruby?”, can be answered by looking at the old oConomy cart.

        For now, have to manually count the search result.

        Good work though on the new oConomy page!