Earlier this year, we deployed our proprietary Member rating system, known as MavenScore. As you have probably noticed if you are a Maven Member or Maven Client, every Member of our network receives a MavenScore the moment they join, and the score fluctuates over time as the Member participates in the Maven service. We get a lot of questions about MavenScore, so we thought it would be helpful to provide additional visibility into how it works, as well as steps that Members can take to improve their scores.

This is the first in a series of postings meant to demystify MavenScore.

What is MavenScore?

MavenScore is a proprietary, comprehensive Member quality ranking comprised of over three dozen unique, measurable, quantifiable, and OBJECTIVE factors. These factors are broken into three broad categories, including:

  • Profile Completeness– How much information has the Member provided about themselves? How up-to-date is that information? Are they ID Verified?
  • Member Behavior– Is the Member responsive? Do they reply to invitations to consult in a timely fashion? Do they provide comments about their suitability for projects? Do they show up for confirmed Consultations?
  • Client Behavior (with respect to particular Member)- Is the Member’s profile attractive to Clients? Do they show up in search, get invited to consult, and get selected to participate if they accept? Do Clients express satisfaction with the Member after Consultations take place?

How is MavenScore calculated?

MavenScore is calculated in such a way that no single factor or category of factors can overwhelm or “dominate” the overall score. In fact, with only a few exceptions (such as ID Verification) changes in a single factor are unlikely to budge the overall score. Factors for which there is no data are not included- in other words, if a Member has never participated in a Consultation, specific factors related to Consultations (like Client feedback) are not included in that Member’s MavenScore calculation.

Maven employs statistical methods to normalize the MavenScore population into a (approximate) standard normal distribution with a median of 2.5. MavenScore is calculated and displayed on a 0-5 basis, with gradations of 0.1. Most scores fall in the 2.0 – 3.0 range; it is very rare to see a MavenScore above 4.0 or below 1.0.

What do you mean by “OBJECTIVE”?

We mean that Maven and Maven’s staff do not seek to influence an individual Member’s MavenScore in any way. In fact, there is no way for us to do so. The system calculates MavenScore automatically based upon measurable data available about each Member. We do not impose subjective value judgments on our Members. Frankly, it is not our place to tell our Clients who is “good” and who is not. We believe that a Member’s success with Maven should rest on the effort they put into their profile, the attractiveness of their knowledge to our Clients, and their behavior with respect to the opportunities presented to them.

Moreover, unlike other rating systems in the consumer space (such as Yelp, epinions, and Zagat), customer feedback is only one of MANY factors that determine MavenScore. A Member’s score is not an average of the subject Client feedback they have received; rather it is a comprehensive ranking based upon dozens of factors.

How frequently is MavenScore updated?

Frequently, but not continuously. We update MavenScore at unannounced, irregular intervals, but no less frequently than once a fortnight. Hence, if you make a change to your Member Profile- even significant changes- it will likely be some time before you  see a change in your MavenScore. To prevent people from reverse engineering our algorithm or “gaming” the MavenScore system, we keep the update schedule confidential.

If I can’t see an immediate change, how do I know if I’m doing the right things?

The most important thing to remember is that MavenScore analyzes OBJECTIVE data and that MavenScore focuses on trends, not individual data points. Are you updating your profile with additional, current information about yourself? If so, then you are doing the right thing and your MavenScore will benefit. Do you pay attention to invitations to Consult and respond quickly? If so, then you are doing the right thing and your MavenScore will benefit.

So how can I improve my MavenScore?

Great question, and one that we will address in detail in a future blog posting. The most important things you can do should be obvious- write a great Knowledge Summary, add more detail to your overall profile (Employment History, Education, Knowledge & Keywords, etc.), and get ID Verified.