Inex One works to improve transparency and efficiency in the expert network industry. We work closely with major investment and analyst firms to improve their work flows when using expert networks. Our discussions have given us great insight into how firms use and evaluate expert networks.
How to evaluate expert networks
When you compare expert networks, consider the following features:
Specialization - Does the expert network have internal expertise that can give them in-depth understanding of your request? A specialized expert network can be a proactive thought-partner, instead of a reactive order-taker.
Geographic footprint - Does the expert network have a footprint in your target markets, with knowledge of the local languages and customs? This will help them to source relevant experts more effectively.
Price and pricing model - Does the expert network require you to pay annually up-front, or can you pay-per-use? What price do you pay per credit, and for related services like transcripts and surveys?
Compliance infrastructure - Does the expert network display a commitment to compliance and high professional standards? Can you access their compliance contracts, policies and practices, and do they seem reasonable? Is there a legal
Data infrastructure - Is the platform on which expert calls are managed secure and robust? Can you access documentation on its structure, and policies around e.g. data access restrictions, and breach contingency plans?
Inex One supports you in your selection of expert networks. Contact us to discuss your evaluation of expert networks, and learn from our experiences and benchmarking studies. Major investment and analyst firms use our EMS to manage their expert networks in a secure one-stop-shop. The EMS helps them save on cost and admin time, while improving compliance and data integrity.
Does size matter?
It used to, but it no longer does. Once upon a time, expert networks and recruitment firms held large internal databases, with a file for each person they had ever come across. Although an asset, they constantly struggled to keep it updated. Then LinkedIn came around and offered a massive, self-updating database. Some expert networks still tout their internal databases, but with tightening personal data regulations around the globe, that asset has rather become a liability. Read about the history of expert networks here.
What are the main competitors to Gerson lehrman group (gLG)?
The top competitors to GLG are Dialectica, AlphaSights and Third Bridge, according to our survey of 123 investment professionals and consultants.
The expert network industry is becoming increasingly competitive, due to a fundamental shift in the business model. Historically, expert networks kept large internal databases from which they selected experts. With the growth of LinkedIn, these internal databases have rapidly lost relevance. Instead of having 500k static expert profiles on your computer, how about 500 million self-updating profiles on the internet? Many new expert networks have established themselves in the last decade, with growth rates far eclipsing those of the major incumbent, GLG. These expert networks employ a number of different business models (described in more detail here).
This development also explains the competitive dynamics of the industry. All top competitors apply a custom-recruiting model, instead of GLG’s traditional database-reliant model. Expert networks find increasingly efficient ways to find targeted expertise, by specializing on geographies or industry verticals, or applying statistical/ML models to their data. This evolution is bound to affect who is considered a top competitor of GLG, if GLG at all remains a relevant benchmark.
How many expert networks are there?
Visit the Expert Network Directory for an ever-growing list of all the expert networks that we come across.