Smarter way to dig up experts

MIT Technology Review – An interesting article on MIT Technology Review about data-mining techniques that could make it easier to locate expertise. Erica Naone summarizes some of the presentations from the Computer-Human Interaction (CHI2009) conference

According to the article: "Using data-mining techniques, software can help determine what skills a person practices regularly, and how likely she is to respond to requests for help."

Volker Wulf, an associate professor at the University of Siegen, in Germany and his colleagues built a system that searches through parts of a person's computer to determine their areas of expertise. If an organization deploys the system, its employees can build their own profiles, but they can also designate folders to be searched automatically. The system mines the documents in those folders for keywords that suggest the user's area of expertise. For example, if an employee has saved lots of files discussing JavaScript and other Web programming topics, the system will conclude that she is an expert in these areas. It will then send this information to a central server, which functions as the clearinghouse for all users' profiles. The benefit, Wulf says, is that the system can get a true sense of the user's expertise, including how it changes over time, without poking into areas that people don't want exposed publicly.

Read the full article here.

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