Lightcast's Latest UK Datarun Includes Move to SOC 2020

Published on Oct 23, 2023

Written by Rob Slane

SOC 2020

Since the Office for National Statistics (ONS) updated their Standard Occupation Classification (SOC) definitions from SOC 2010 to SOC 2020, we at Lightcast have been investing a lot of time and resources into incorporating these changes into our data. We’re delighted to announce that this process has now been completed, and is now being reflected in our data. Before we come on to what this huge improvement means to our customers, let’s first take a quick look at the key changes made by the ONS to their classification system.

ONS Changes From SOC 2010 to SOC 2020

According to the ONS, the main areas of change from their previous classification system to the new one are:

  1. A review of the classification of roles as professional or associate professional
    This means that occupations such as Paramedics, Multimedia Designers, Investment Analysts, and Taxation Experts, which were part of the “Associate Professional or Technical” classification in SOC 2010, have been reclassified as “Professional” occupations in SOC 2020.

  2. The reclassification of occupations associated with information technologies
    This means that the growth in IT roles over the last decade or so has now been recognised by the creation of new unit groups such as Cyber Security, Quality and Testing, Networks, Web Design, Database Administrators, and IT Trainers.

  3. Disaggregation into less heterogenous unit groups
    This includes the creation of a separate role for Logistics Management; distinguishing General Medical Practitioners from Specialist Medical Practitioners; a breakdown of nursing roles; and more detail on storage and warehouse roles.

Overall, the new classification system is more granular than the old taxonomy, with 43 more occupations at the unit group (4-digit) level than the 2010 version (412 compared to 369). For users who want to be able to investigate Lightcast’s job postings and profiles in greater depth, we offer the Lightcast Occupation Taxonomy, which classifies jobs into over 1,900 different roles.

Lightcast Changes From SOC 2010 to SOC 2020

To bring these changes into our data has taken a huge effort. It’s not just a case of adding 43 new classifications into the system and away we go. Just to give some idea of the size and scale of the change, our UK dataset includes 1.8 billion official datapoints, 97 million job postings, and 19 million profiles, all of which are intrinsically linked together. Changing the taxonomy that underpins all this data is clearly a mammoth task, as is ensuring that it all connects together such that quality and accuracy are maintained across our entire dataset.

The primary benefit of this vast undertaking is that our UK data has now been brought in line with the latest official classification. But the change has also allowed us to introduce a number of other benefits, which were not really possible before. For example, we’ve been able to make updates to our demographics data, our earnings data, and our staffing patterns. Additionally, having our dataset align with the latest official taxonomy also means we’ll be able to make future improvements much more quickly, which will help us to continue to ensure our data are as accurate as possible.

What is Happening and When is it Happening?

We have just made our bi-annual datarun in our Analyst tool, and this has included the move to SOC 2020. Users can initially see the change in Beta, and from that point we’ll be looking to migrate our customers' occupation groups from SOC 2010 to UK SOC 2020. We expect to move from Beta to full release in the coming weeks.

Users of Lightcast APIs, the Career Coach API, and Snowflake also have access to SOC 2020, but with the ability to change configuration to operate using either SOC 2010 or SOC 2020. Our intention is to wind down SOC 2010 early in the first quarter of 2024, so that all Analyst, API, and Career Coach customers will be using SOC 2020, or the Lightcast Occupation Taxonomy (LOT) for those who need more granular data.

If you're a customer and have any questions about these changes, do reach out to your Lightcast Account Manager. For non-customers wanting to know more about our data and solutions, get in touch by completing the form below. 

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