Consultants, investors, and market researchers are often presented with an attractive investment in an area they may not be knowledgeable in. If they want to explore the opportunity, seeking the advice of an expert can help steer them in the right direction. Expert insight enables organizations to make more informed decisions, helping them increase success rates and gain a competitive advantage. But how do they identify and connect with experts? The answer could be to engage the services of an expert network. In this blog post, we’re going to cover what expert networks are, how they work and why you should use them.
What is an expert network?
Put simply, an expert network is a company that connects organizations with experts. For example, an organization introducing a product in a new territory may want to speak with a local industry key opinion leader (KOL) to gather market insight before going ahead with the launch. We refer to these KOLs as experts. They come from a variety of different backgrounds and cover a wide range of subjects. Ensuring that the organization connects with the right KOL is where an expert network steps in. Expert networks offer access to incredibly valuable insight, potentially otherwise unavailable, and play a vital role in decision-making including, investment decisions, market research, and user testing.
To help us get a better understanding, let’s have a look at the process an organization might follow to connect with a KOL through an expert network.
Expert networks match organizations seeking expertise with experts who possess it.
How do expert networks work?
The process of engaging with an expert network isn’t set in stone but it usually goes like this:
An organization identifies that they can increase their success rates by unlocking expert insight.
They create a list of requirements such as desired job title, years’ experience, location, and number of published papers.
This list of requirements is submitted to the expert network.
The expert network uses the list of requirements to seek and match suitable experts with the organization.
Once an organization matches with an expert, with the help of the expert network, the two parties can choose to connect in a few ways.
The most common method of engagement, because of its simplicity and turnaround time, is a direct phone conversation between the expert and the organization. Other ways of collecting insight include:
Survey-based quantitative research whereby the expert network collects information from a pool of experts via a survey and shares the results with the organization.
Data review and appraisal which involves experts analyzing an organisation’s data and providing feedback.
Multi-expert focus groups where experts share knowledge through an advisory board.
Regardless of the format, the goal remains the same – to help organizations make more informed decisions by connecting them with experts.
Now that we’ve covered what expert networks are and the common steps followed to match organizations with experts, let’s see how expert networks find KOLs.
Traditionally, an expert network is powered by a database populated by a team of people who spend hours manually searching for experts to add to the database. This way of operating is commonly known as the “standard model” and relies heavily on people trawling the web and career databases for viable expert candidates. These candidates are then contacted, vetted, segmented, and eventually added to the expert network’s central database. Although this method has been around for several years, its reliance on manual human input limits its power. This is where techspert.io's AI-driven expert network, the first and only of its kind, makes a difference.
How is techspert.io different?
Unlike standard expert networks, techspert.io's AI-driven expert network uses the power of AI to trawl the entirety of the web, incredibly quickly, to identify and segment the world’s best experts.
The benefits of using techspert.io include:
Precision: our AI technology searches far corners of the web to find the experts for your specific needs, no matter how niche they are.
Speed: our AI technology processes huge quantities of web content much faster than a human can and works 24/7.
Coverage: our knowledge landscape is defined by the coverage of the internet, not fixed databases.
Support: our dedicated team will work with you each step of the way to ensure that you’re connected with the right expert to meet your needs.
Graham Mills is the co-founder and Managing Director of techspert.io, where he leads the company's commercial functions and international expansion strategy. A scientist by training, Graham completed his PhD in pancreatic cancer chemoresistance at the University of Cambridge