How do Expert Networks Work?

An expert network is comprised of a number of professionals who are connected through a virtual platform. Any company is free to hire these specialists to benefit from a high standard of consultation services or to gain access to the knowledge that is a critical to a competitive process.  

The IT and investment industries are among the biggest players on the market that make use of expert networks and these companies frequently utilize these with the goal of gaining a competitive advantage. 

Main highlights: 

  • Expert networks can be described as a group of subject matter experts who firms hire when they require a high-level specialist on a specific topic. 
  • Expert networks came into being due to the great demand for the specialized set of skills that some companies require from time to time when their in-house team lacks sufficient knowledge in particular fields. 

How Does it Work? 

Companies hire specialists from these expert networks in return for a specified fee and can be employed for long- or short-term contracts. There’s no single standard approach to engaging with an expert network but there are a number of common elements: 

  1. The company recognizes that there is a need to refer to specific experts in order to increase its success. 
  2. Managers within the company compile a list of the requirements that an expert should meet such as the actual role, location, published works or reviews and years of experience. 
  3. This list is then published on the expert network platform. 
  4. The expert network platform subsequently   uses the set of requirements in order to search for and find experts who match the company’s requests. 

Once the company has selected a specialist, there are several ways of connecting to and utilizing the expert network

The simplest and least time-consuming method is a direct phone conversation – the company simply calls the specialist and conducts a discussion. 

The marketplace where a company can hire experts for one-on-one consultation on a number of subjects is called an expert network platform. Both individuals and companies can refer to expert networks whenever they require very specific answers to concrete questions. 

  1. Quantitative study that involves the use of surveys. Simply put – the expert network gathers data from a myriad of specialists through a survey and provides the final results to the company to fulfil its requirements. 
  2. Review and evaluation. Experts study the data provided by the company itself and generate feedback on this. 
  3. Focus groups comprised of a number of experts who share information via an advisory board. 

In return for its input, the expert network platform charges each expert a percentage of the fee that the company pays for their assistance. A company may either directly employ the specialists or the experts may work as contractors or a freelancer within the network. 

It is worth mentioning that the market also features independent specialists who do not work within an expert network so are therefore free to establish their own rates.   

In today’s digital world and within an extremely competitive environment, companies need to be in possession of a massive amount of information in order to work efficiently. Since the information provided by experts can be the cornerstone of any specific industry, it is important that companies make use of expert networks not only to ensure a solid compliance framework but also to reduce the time taken to undertake research to gain the required knowledge and thus outshine any competitors in the same market. 

Suggested read: What is an expert network?

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