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SIS 2015: A Data Solution to Finding Industry Experts

Panelists at Social Innovation Summit 2015 dish on their methods for discovering and securing the experts of their fields.

Landing an industry expert on your team can push your company to the forefront, but it can be a challenge to secure them.

A panel at the Social Innovation Summit 2015 on Thursday focused on how companies are using data science and social outreach programs to discover the experts that can give them a competitive edge.

It’s not always serendipity at work when an industry expert lands a key role at a company. Pritzker Group Venture Capital has created a powerful database solution to help find experts on demand.

By grouping contacts into an A to C hierarchy based on their level of expertise, investors can tap into a network of experts across many fields. Included is information about the company’s relationship with that person, which is designed to be constantly evolving.

"We run programs against this database on a continual basis — networks, dinners, outreach programs," says partner Matthew McCall. "The idea is to activate and track them, moving people up into A from B, or B from C. It's all tied to our strategic goals at the end of the day."

McCall asked panel attendees to take a hard look into the data solutions available for networking challenges, whether it's RelateIQ or the cloud-based Salesforce. But advised that these databases are informed by contacts your employees make out in the field. It's a team effort to both accumulate all of that data and to find creative and valuable ways to act on it.

An Appeal to Capture Hearts and Minds of Silicon Valley

Finding the right expert is one thing, but how do you incentivize them to work with your company?

Jennifer Anastasoff joined the White House's U.S. Digital Service in August, shortly after the newly launched $400 million HealthCare.gov crashed.

Anastasoff was tasked with helping build a team of technology experts to ensure future federal digital endeavors didn't end in embarrassment. The hiring coincided with the White House bringing on its first chief data scientist, DJ Patil, who works with the U.S. Digital Service.

Anastasoff has been recruiting from Chicago, New York and Silicon Valley, where she says those who have the best people win. Gathering talent from a pool of experts used to working with the perks and paychecks afforded the hub of the high-tech industry can be challenging — but she has an ace up her sleeve.

"It's not the money or tech you're used to, but you might help 8 million people get access to healthcare," said Anastastoff of her recruitment pitch. "For the right people, that does help."

Explore all of BizTech's Social Innovation Summit 2015 coverage, including articles and video interviews with industry leaders, on our SIS 2015 landing page.

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Jun 11 2015

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