04 Jun 2018

How does GDPR shake up expert networks?

Max FribergCEO at Inex One

The implementation of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is forcing expert networks to change. Gone are the days of marketing your expert network with “how big your database of experts” is. These databases have been built up over decades and therefore include outdated experts, many who left their jobs years ago.

Networks must now ask for renewed permission to store data on EU citizens, and may not keep this data forever (the guideline is “the shortest time possible”, according to the EU).

“Fun fact: GLG and Guidepoint both claim to have ~500,000 experts each in their databases. Undoubtedly tedious to manually update, that is still just peanuts. LinkedIn has 500 million profiles – updating themselves.”

This matters, because expert networks have long touted large databases as a stamp of quality. In fact, it is rather the opposite – proven by the stellar growth of networks focused on custom recruiting. This category includes Alphasights and Third Bridge when they started, and more recently also Dialectica in Europe.

The change to expert networks will thus be two-fold: changing what they communicate in marketing messages, and in some cases also reducing their use of internal legacy databases. Both changes should be positive to the customers, who benefit from better service when more experts are custom-recruited. Our Expert Management System (EMS) helps you engage with multiple expert networks at once, turbocharging the custom-recruiting of experts.

According to the industry analyst Integrity Research, there were more than 50 expert networks operating already in 2010. The market has since exploded with expert networks reporting 20-40% annual growth rates. The Inex One EMS helps customer use the increasing specialization of expert networks to their advantage, engaging multiple expert networks at once.

The General Data Protection Regulation and Expert Networks
The General Data Protection Regulation and Expert Networks