Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Robert Ambrogi at his blog LawSites has a review of a relatively new business networking tool called Relationship Science (also known as "RelSci") that seeks to improve upon the relationship mapping functions of LinkedIn by finding contacts within organizations for purposes of turning those connections into potential clients. Unlike LinkedIn, RelSci is a fee-based service that employs a staff of 150 researchers who proactively search for information about business leaders within both private and public organizations that are added to the site's extensive database of business contacts. RelSci's data mining is intended to enable those who join the network, such as lawyers, to use the relationship mapping functions to identify contacts and decision-makers at more than 1 million organizations who have the potential to become clients. Robert Ambrogi explains further:
[RelSci] works by mapping your contacts and those of others in your firm against its database of people and companies. Its principal tool for doing this is something called Path Finder. Say you are at a firm with an interest in exploring a relationship with Company X. Search that company and Path Finder will map out how you are connected to that company. Maybe your contacts include someone within the company or maybe one of your partners has a contact there. You can find the strongest pathway and then follow it.
RelSci also has a Power Search feature that includes an array of advanced search filters. Search by industry, interests, work history, education, investments, political contributions, nonprofit donations, memberships and other parameters. The level of information available here is much deeper than you could find through LinkedIn.
Worth noting is that RelSci can also be used to map external relationships. Use it, for example, to find out which law firms already represent a company or which companies a law firm or lawyer represents (to the extent this information is available through public filings).
Another feature, 360 Alerts, provides daily alerts by email when people and companies you know are mentioned in the news. You can customize these to build specific lists of people and companies. You can also customize these to alert you only for specified events, such as when someone changes employment.
One other feature worth noting is Visit a City. As its name suggests, use it in advance of your next business trip to research who you could or should meet with.
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