Smartkarma Dives into Curated Research


Streaming-research provider Smartkarma has taken the best practices of social media and applied them to independent research distribution to improve research quality and delivery.

The vendor, which launched in January 2015, curates the research provided by more than 70 independent research firms, including Morningstar, on its online platform.

According to Jon Foster, curating content goes beyond simply aggregating content.

Jon Foster, Smartkarma

Jon Foster,

“We need to be able to understand what any work that’s on our platform is about, it’s context, and where it fits into the conversation,” he said. “It’s much easier to do when everything is electronic structured data and not unstructured data found in a PDF.”

Foster compares Smartkarma’s delivery platform to popular website content management systems like WordPress. “Obviously, the tools that we use are more sophisticated,” he said.

Research providers use the platform to upload and format their research while end users may access the platform online via any browser-enabled device.

The vendor’s business model is a flat-fee model that lets end users access all of the research on the platform while paying the more than 70 independent research firms for their research based on the level end-user engagement for each report.

Part of the engagement analysis goes beyond just counting the number of clients that simply open the individual reports to passively examining how clients actually engage the content.

“It’s a push-pull model,” said Foster. “Let’s say you are in a taxi on the way to work and open three of four piece of research. What happens if you then open one of them when you get to the office, share it with your colleague and review it again that afternoon? That’s going to indicate a much higher level of engagement than the fact that you clicked through in the taxi on the way into the office.”

In turn, Smartkarma pays each research provider, whether a firm or an individual, based on the level of client engagement.

“We put all of our flat-fee subscriptions into a bucket and then distribute it to our writers,” said Foster.

Smartkarma’s immediate focus is on the Asian markets, but expects to expand its geographic coverage in the future, according to Foster.

Featured image via Smartkarma

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