What is the Cornerstone Skills Graph?

September 30, 2020 Cyril Le Mat

We just announced the Cornerstone Skills Graph and you might be thinking – that sounds cool, but what is it? We caught up with Cyril Le Mat, director of data science at Cornerstone to answer all those questions and give you more insight into what the Cornerstone Skills Graph can do for you.

Cyril, please kick off by describing the Cornerstone Skills Graph to us.

The Cornerstone Skills Graph is an engine powered by AI and machine learning that automatically detects skills from different sources (profiles, job titles, training, job offers) and identifies them in different use cases: career recommendation and development, score in relation to a position and data visualisation. Essentially, matching skills to people, learning content and job roles.

How does the Cornerstone Skills Graph benefit companies, teams and employees?

The Skills Graph's competency taxonomy is universal, standardised, correlated, open and multilingual. The benefits include:

  • Providing organisations with a comprehensive capability repository based on over 50,000 unique skills (not counting synonyms), automatically detecting them in employees
  • Developing internal mobility through recommendations for positions and roles
  • Enabling employees, through recommendations, to develop their existing skills or acquire new ones, and ultimately, to develop their employability
  • Increasing employee engagement in training through competency-based recommendations
  • Empowering management and career paths

In particular, how does the Cornerstone Skills Graph help develop "strategic" skills?

It’s about not guessing the skills organisations have in place, or to say which ones are the most strategic but to allow organisations to understand the skills their employees have, to expand these skills through suggestions and to put them to good use. For example, if the challenge is to develop AI skills, The Cornerstone Skills Graph will be able to detect existing skills in the organisation that are linked to this term, as well as offer training content to people wishing to bolster or develop these skills. Also, Cornerstone can help detect candidates with relevant skills within Cornerstone Recruiting.

As we go through constant and unpredictable change, is it still possible to anticipate and map the skills that will be needed in the medium term?

The Skills Graph focuses on the current situation of a company and how to bring concrete value to it (skill development, job roles, mobility, etc). The skills taxonomy is open and dynamic, it integrates new skills that arrive in the market and therefore highlights work trends. This means the Skills Graph is ever-evolving, identifying emerging skills, and provides a more dynamic solution than repositories used by companies today, which can quickly become obsolete after they’re created. A good thing to remember here are the three Vs of big data: volume, variety and velocity (i.e. speed of changes and evolution). With over 70 million users on the Cornerstone platform and millions of hours of training content consumed every year, we know that the recommendations from the Skills Graph will continually get more effective and targeted.

Is this a new platform? How does it fit into the Cornerstone OnDemand ecosystem? In particular, what are the links with Clustree, whose technology you’ve based this on?

This is not a new platform, the Skills Graph will power all of Cornerstone’s products.  The aim is to streamline every HR process with new technological capabilities. This Skills Graph was built on Clustree technology which incorporates more than 5 years of research and development. The acquisition of Clustree has allowed us at Cornerstone to get ahead of the market with a mature technology, a rich skills taxonomy and a team of AI and skills experts.

How does the Cornerstone Skills Graph link to Cornerstone's entire training offering, both the Learning platform and Content catalogue?

Our training offering, including our Content Anytime content, is enhanced by the Skills Graph. The intelligence and insight enable better recommendations on content based on an employee’s profile and aspirations. The Skills Graph automatically labels training content in relation to relevant skills, saving organisations a lot of time spent connecting the dots and matching skills to training to employees.

How much of a role will AI play in new developments?

AI plays a central role in these developments because the Skills Graph is an AI engine. These solutions are innovative and require extensive support to really realise its full potential. HR teams have long been interested in these technologies because of the enormous value they can bring. Unfortunately, the term AI can be misused, and many players have products enhanced by big data and data analytics, but actually lack the predictive features that would make it truly powered by AI.

Technology is moving fast, and our engine is part of a new generation of AI-based tools that will prove indispensable to tomorrow’s HR team. The Skills Graph natively integrates AI technology (deep learning algorithm, etc.) into Cornerstone products and answers real needs having been developed by HR experts and data scientists.

Big thanks to Cyril for all this detail. Very exciting news! For more on the Cornerstone Skills Graph, head to our newsroom.

About the Author

Cyril Le Mat

Cyril Le Mat is a Data Science executive with over 10 years of experience building data teams and machine learning products for startups and tech companies. After graduating from the Ecole Centrale de Nantes with a master’s degree in mathematics and computer science, he worked as a Management Consultant and Data Analyst for various companies. He then joined several French startups as Head of Data Science : Cheerz (acquired by cewe) and HostnFly. In 2018, he joined Clustree, a HR Artificial Intelligence platform focused on skills framework and careers,where he built a technology that surpassed the state of the art of the market and was acquired by Cornerstone OnDemand. He is now an international expert in Artificial Intelligence applied to HR, developing machine learning products at Cornerstone OnDemand.

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