WO2016061676A1 - Method and system for context-sensitive profiling - Google Patents

Method and system for context-sensitive profiling Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2016061676A1
WO2016061676A1 PCT/CA2015/051058 CA2015051058W WO2016061676A1 WO 2016061676 A1 WO2016061676 A1 WO 2016061676A1 CA 2015051058 W CA2015051058 W CA 2015051058W WO 2016061676 A1 WO2016061676 A1 WO 2016061676A1
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individual
profile
method
outcome
based
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PCT/CA2015/051058
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French (fr)
Inventor
Douglas Wayne MCINTYRE
Stéphane DROUIN
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Mcintyre Douglas Wayne
Drouin Stéphane
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Priority to US62/066,691 priority
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Publication of WO2016061676A1 publication Critical patent/WO2016061676A1/en

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    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q30/00Commerce, e.g. shopping or e-commerce
    • G06Q30/02Marketing, e.g. market research and analysis, surveying, promotions, advertising, buyer profiling, customer management or rewards; Price estimation or determination
    • G06Q30/0202Market predictions or demand forecasting
    • G06Q30/0203Market surveys or market polls

Abstract

A method of assessing customer profiles for customers of an employer includes providing each employee having a relationship with a first customer with a plurality of survey questions. Answers to the plurality of survey questions are received from each employee having a relationship with the first customer. The answers received from each employee having a relationship with the first customer are correlated, to form a customer profile based on third party responses, the customer profile based on the employer's employees'interactions with said first customer.

Description

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR CONTEXT-SENSITIVE PROFILING

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The invention relates generally to communications, and more particularly to communications for gathering and presenting information relating to individuals or groups in a context sensitive fashion.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Historically, data collecting and processing for the purpose of understanding the behaviour of individuals or groups has been based on the premise that a larger sample of data necessarily yields statistically more reliable results. This approach attempts to average out biases and/or outliers by sampling a sufficiently large and diverse group of respondents. Such known approaches are best suited for profiling individuals or groups based on generalized goals or criteria, which are assumed to be relatively insensitive to the relationships that exist between the respondents and the individual or group that is being profiled.

[0003] There are many business and social reasons for profiling individuals or groups. For instance, collecting data about customers is presently considered to be an essential part of the sales cycle. The collected information is used to manage and plan simple sales efforts involving a sales person and a customer, as well as complex sales efforts involving dozens of participants. The databases so formed provide a lot of anecdotal data, some of which is correct and others of which are merely conjecture. In fact, the process for gathering and filtering the data itself will affect its reliability and usefulness.

[0004] Similarly, it may be desirable to collect and organize data pertaining to friends or acquaintances in a social context. In this case the collected information is used to improve or establish relationships, or to influence decisions that are social in nature. Additionally, profiling of individuals or groups may involve elements of business and social context. For instance, profiling employees within a company, or more generally profiling individuals within any organization, can be used to build teams that work together more effectively, to motivate workers to improve productivity, or to influence staffing decisions, etc.

SUMMARY OF EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

[0005] In accordance with an aspect of at least one embodiment of the invention, there is provided a method of assessing a profile for a target individual, comprising: determining a group of respondents each having a connection with the target individual within a connection network; providing each respondent with at least one survey question relating to an aspect of the target individual; receiving from each respondent an answer to the at least one survey question provided thereto; storing profile data for the target individual based on the answer received from each respondent; receiving a selection of a first outcome, from a stored database of outcomes, based on a desired type of interaction between the target individual and a subject individual; generating a first profile of the target individual based on first criteria associated with the selected first outcome; based on personality profile data of the subject individual and the generated profile of the target individual, selecting from a database of suggested actions a first suggested action to be performed by the subject individual to achieve the first outcome; and receiving from the subject individual feedback data rating the effectiveness of the first suggested action in achieving the first outcome.

[0006] In accordance with an aspect of at least one embodiment of the invention, there is provided a method of assessing a profile for a target individual, comprising: determining a group of respondents each having a connection with the target individual within a connection network; providing each respondent with at least one survey question relating to an aspect of the target individual; receiving from each respondent an answer to the at least one survey question provided thereto; storing profile data for the target individual based on the answer received from each respondent; receiving a selection of a first outcome, from a stored database of outcomes, based on a desired type of interaction between the target individual and a subject individual; providing the subject individual with one or more questions specific to the selected first outcome; receiving from the subject individual answers to the one or more questions; based on the answers received from the subject individual, generating a first profile of the target individual and selecting, from a database of suggested actions, a first suggested action to be performed by the subject individual to achieve the first outcome; and receiving from the subject individual feedback data rating the effectiveness of the suggested action in achieving the first outcome.

[0007] In accordance with an aspect of at least one embodiment of the invention, there is provided a method of assessing a profile for a target individual, comprising: determining a group of respondents each having a connection with the target individual within a connection network; providing each respondent with at least one survey question relating to an aspect of the target individual; receiving from each respondent an answer to the at least one survey question provided thereto; storing profile data for the target individual based on the answer received from each respondent; generating a first profile of the target individual for a first outcome, the first outcome relating to a type of interaction between the target individual and a subject individual; based on the first profile of the subject individual for the first outcome and a profile of at least one other individual for the first outcome, determining a rating of the target individual for the first outcome relative to the at least one other individual.

[0008] In accordance with an aspect of at least one embodiment of the invention, there is provided a method comprising: determining a group of respondents each having a connection with the target individual within a connection network; providing each respondent with at least one survey question relating to an aspect of the target individual; receiving from each respondent an answer to the at least one survey question provided thereto; storing first profile data for the target individual based on the answer received from each respondent; determining a group of respondents each having a connection with the subject individual within a connection network; providing each respondent with at least one survey question relating to an aspect of the subject individual; receiving from each respondent an answer to the at least one survey question provided thereto; storing second profile data for the subject individual based on the answer received from each respondent; selecting a first outcome; based on the first profile, the second profile and the first outcome, determining a course of action selected from a plurality of stored courses of action for the subject individual to perform to achieve the outcome.

[0009] In accordance with an aspect of at least one embodiment of the invention, there is provided a method of assessing customer profiles for customers of an employer comprising: providing each employee having a relationship with a first customer with a plurality of survey questions; receiving from each employee having a relationship with the first customer answers to the plurality of survey questions; and correlating the answers received from each employee having a relationship with the first customer to form a customer profile based on third party responses, the customer profile based on the employer's employees' interactions with said first customer.

[0010] In accordance with an aspect of at least one embodiment of the invention, there is provided a method of assessing customer profiles for customers of an employer comprising: providing each contact having a relationship with a first contact within a social network with a plurality of survey questions; receiving from each contact having a relationship with the first contact answers to the plurality of survey questions; correlating the answers received from each contact having a relationship with the first contact to form a first contact profile for the first contact based on third party responses; and storing the first contact profile in association with the first contact.

[0011] In accordance with an aspect of at least one embodiment of the invention, there is provided a method of assessing customer profiles for customers of an employer comprising: determining a first outcome; providing each employee having a relationship to the first outcome with a plurality of survey questions about other individuals; receiving from each employee having a relationship with the first outcome answers to the plurality of survey questions; and correlating the answers received from each employee having a relationship with the first outcome to form one or more psychometric profiles for facilitating the first outcome.

[0012] In accordance with an aspect of at least one embodiment of the invention, there is provided a method of assessing a contact profile for a first contact, comprising: providing each contact having a relationship with the first contact within a relationship network with a plurality of survey questions; receiving from each contact having a relationship to the first contact answers to the plurality of survey questions; correlating the answers received from each contact having a relationship with the first contact to form a first contact profile for the first contact based on third party responses; and storing the first contact profile in association with the first contact.

[0013] In this context a relationship network or a connection network can be a social network, a professional network, a sales network or any other similar network that interconnects individuals and/or organizations in some way.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0014] Fig. 1 is a simplified diagram of a wide area network in the form of the

Internet.

[0015] Fig. 2 is a simplified flow diagram of a method of profiling target individuals, within the context of a selected outcome, according to an embodiment.

[0016] Fig. 3 is a simplified diagram showing a typical data entry screen for a

CRM system.

[0017] Fig. 4 is a simplified flow diagram of a method of profiling target individuals, within the context of a selected outcome, according to an embodiment.

[0018] Fig. 5 simplified flow diagram of a method of profiling target individuals, within the context of a selected outcome, according to an embodiment.

[0019] Fig. 6 simplified flow diagram of a method of profiling target individuals, within the context of a selected outcome, according to an embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0020] The following description is presented to enable a person skilled in the art to make and use the invention, and is provided in the context of a particular application and its requirements. Various modifications to the disclosed embodiments will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art, and the general principles defined herein may be applied to other embodiments and applications without departing from the scope of the invention. Thus, the present invention is not intended to be limited to the embodiments disclosed, but is to be accorded the widest scope consistent with the principles and features disclosed herein. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology used herein is for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting. The use of "including," "comprising," or "having" and variations thereof herein is meant to encompass the items listed thereafter and equivalents thereof as well as additional items.

[0021] Definitions:

[0022] Target Individual: An individual or group about whom data are being collected. In the case of an individual, some specific and non-limiting examples include a single person that is currently or potentially: a client/customer, a co-worker/colleague, a superior/subordinate, a friend, a neighbour, a spouse, a partner, etc. In the case of a group, some specific and non-limiting examples include a group of people that is currently or potentially: a client/customer, a department within an organization, a team within an organization, an employer, a social group or club, etc.

[0023] Subject Individual: An individual or group that is currently or potentially interacting with the target individual to achieve an outcome; an actor.

[0024] Organization: A grouping of individuals or groups that is formed for a particular purpose. Some specific and non-limiting examples include: a company, a business, a club, a government department etc. The purpose may be business or social in nature, or the purpose may combine business and social aspects.

[0025] Respondent: An individual or group that responds to at least one survey question pertaining to a target individual with whom the respondent has a connection.

[0026] Outcome: A goal or result of a current or potential interaction between the subject individual and the target individual. Some specific and non-limiting examples of an outcome in a social context include: persuading a neighbour to help organize a neighbourhood watch program, persuading the subject individual to agree to a date, persuading one or more members to provide an endorsement or nomination within a club, persuading a spouse to agree to watch a particular movie, etc. Some specific and non- limiting examples of an outcome in a business context include: determining the best sales representative to interact with a particular client, determining how to improve the relationship between the lead sales representative and the client for a particular account, determining the composition of a team within an organization, etc. As is apparent, some of the above-mentioned examples have both a business and a social aspect. As such, it is to be understood that a reference to a particular outcome as being either business or social in nature is somewhat an arbitrary decision, and serves mainly an illustrative purpose to provide a better understanding of the invention.

[0027] It is also to be understood that the same individual or group may be identified variously as a target individual, as a subject individual or as a respondent, depending upon the function that that individual or group is performing at a given time. If an individual provides self-profile information, then that individual may be simultaneously a respondent and a target individual or a respondent and a subject individual.

[0028] Referring now to Fig. 1 , shown is wide area network (WAN) in the form of Internet 100. Coupled to the Internet 100 by way of wired connection, optical connection, wireless connection, or via a communication network(s) and/or a gateway(s) are a plurality of user interface systems including mobile phones 101 and 102, tablets 103 and 104, personal computers 105 and 106, telepresence systems 107 and 108, servers 109 and 110, and cloud system 111. Each of the devices 101-111 communicates via the Internet 100 with any of the other devices, allowing for a broad range of communication sessions and options. Though only two of each device is shown in Fig. 1, it is clear to those of skill in the art that the Internet comprises many thousands of each type of devices distributed around the globe.

[0029] The system that is shown in Fig. 1 facilitates communication between different individuals and/or groups, even over vast distances. Further, the system that is shown in Fig. 1 supports the formation of connection networks including groupings of connected individuals and/or groups. Such connection networks may have substantial overlap or no overlap at all. By way of some specific and non-limiting examples, social media networks allow an individual to "friend" other individuals and to communicate therewith. Alternatively, electronic mail applications construct and maintain contact databases, which include personal and/or business information for the user's clients, customers, friends, acquaintances, neighbours, family members etc.

[0030] Somewhat surprisingly, it has been found that the ease of establishing connection networks and the ability to communicate over vast distances using the system that is shown in Fig. 1 can be a disadvantage. The tendency is to exploit the power of such a system in order to increase the amount of data that are collected, rather than to target the data that are most relevant within a particular context.

[0031] In an embodiment, "profile targeting" is achieved based on a prior identification of an outcome. Given a fixed data set for the target individual based on answers to survey questions provided by a plurality of respondents, each respondent having a connection with a target individual, a first profile of the target individual is generated in response to selection of a first outcome and a second profile of the target individual is generated in response to selection of a second outcome. By way of an example, the first outcome is persuading the target individual to support a business proposal being put forth by a subject individual and the second outcome is persuading the target individual to date the subject individual. Intuitively, one would not expect the same approach to be appropriate in both situations. Profiling of the target individual therefore needs to mimic human intuition, such that the generated profile is appropriate within a particular context.

[0032] Continuing with this example, the subject individual is presented with a series of questions relating to his or her impression of the target individual. The responses to these questions, combined with existing profile data relating to the subject individual, forms personality profile data of the subject individual that is specific to the selected outcome. For instance, the existing profile data is based on the respondents' answers to survey questions and/or self-profile information provided by the subject individual. Optionally, the subject individual is not presented with questions and the personality profile data of the subject individual is based on the existing profile data.

[0033] Based on the personality profile data of the subject individual and the generated profile of the target individual, suggestions or tips are provided to help the subject individual achieve the outcome. For instance, the suggestions or tips are stored in a suggestion database and are indexed to elements of the generated profile and personality profile. Given a particular combination of the generated profile and personality profile for a particular outcome, an appropriate suggestion or tip may be retrieved and provided to the subject individual.

[0034] In this example, the system also maintains an outcome database from which an outcome is selected. The outcome database includes a plurality of predetermined outcomes. Optionally, some of the outcomes are not available to be selected in every case. For instance, if the target individual is the CEO of the company and the subject individual is a junior sales associate, then outcomes such as motivating the target individual to be more productive may be unavailable. If on the other hand the target individual is the junior sales associate and the subject individual is a sales manager, then outcomes such as motivating the target individual to be more productive may be available. Further optionally, the outcome database is updated if new outcomes are requested by the users or gain importance within an organization. Alternatively, existing outcomes may be removed for instance when policy changes within an organization result in a ban on dating between co-workers.

[0035] Subsequent to performing an action based on the suggestion or tip, the subject individual provides the system with feedback data relating to the effectiveness of the suggested action in achieving the outcome. Optionally, the feedback data is used to tune the selection of suggestions or to modify suggestions for future use. Alternatively, the feedback data may be used to inform the subject individual of the past success rate of performing the suggested action. [0036] Targeting the profiling and subsequently providing suggestions or tips based on a selected outcome provides a tremendous amount of flexibility, allowing collected data to be used over and over again for different purposes. For instance, within an organization a plurality of respondents is identified, each respondent having a connection with a first individual. In a specific case, the first individual is a sales representative and the respondents include other sales representatives as well as support staff and others colleagues that have had an interaction with the first individual. The respondents are provided with at least one survey question pertaining to the first individual. Some respondents may receive more survey questions than other respondents and some respondents may receive different survey questions than other respondents. The provision of specific questions may be based on the position of the respondents within the organization or based on the answers given to previous questions. For instance, if "respondent A" answers "no" to question 3 then he or she is presented immediately with question 4. On the other hand, if "respondent B" answers "yes" to question 3 then he or she is presented first with additional questions 3a, 3b and 3c prior to being presented with question 4. As such, respondents with closer connections to the first individual may provide relatively more information relating thereto.

[0037] Once all of the respondents have provided answers to the survey questions, the profile data relating to the first individual is stored. The survey results are compiled and analysed to provide as detailed an assessment of the subject as is supported by the answers - both number of answers and the content of the answers. The detailed assessment includes some general assessment data such as reputation driven or money driven, ambitious or not ambitious, decisive or indecisive. Advantageously, the stored profile data may be used, by way of an example, when the first individual is a target individual and when the first individual is a subject individual. For instance, when the first individual is the target individual the selected outcome is "motivating the first individual to contribute to group sales efforts." The suggestions or tips relate to how to incentivize the first individual to focus on group sales rather than individual sales objectives. Alternatively, when the first individual is the subject individual the selected outcome is "improving the way I am perceived by my colleagues." The suggestions and tips relate to actions that the first individual can take to try to improve his or her colleague's opinion of him or her. Although this example is described in a business context, optionally it may include aspects that are closely associated with social context. For instance, the connections between the first individual and the respondents may be defined within the context of a social network, such as Facebook or Linkedln. In this way, a group of individuals co-create psychometric profile of a target individual that can be used by the target individual, or the profilers, to get insight and behaviour predictions that are useful e.g. to the target individual for both personal and business relationship management. Many variations are possible. For instance, the first individual may ask to be profiled by other members of the social network in order to gain insight into how he or she is viewed by others. Alternatively, the first individual may ask other members of the social network to profile a subject individual. In this case, the first individual does not know the subject individual and gains insight based on the profile data provided by respondents that have a connection with the subject individual. The first individual is able to tap into the knowledge of third parties, who may or may not be known to the first individual.

[0038] Of course, respondents may consider it to be onerous to provide the answers to survey questions and/or may deliberately or unintentionally provide unusable answers. In order to incentivize the respondents to provide usable answers, optionally a reward is provided when certain milestones are achieved. Here, for example, each respondent is provided with access to a portion of a psychometric profile of another person in response to providing a psychometric assessment result, survey question answer, for someone. Alternatively, for each group of answered questions, a small piece of information is provided. Further alternatively, answering the survey questions is mandatory and the respondents are penalized for failure to do so or failure to do so properly. When a small piece of information is provided in response to answering several survey questions, users are motivated to answer questions in order to get the small piece of information. For example, a user is provided with information about decisiveness of a customer in return for answering 10 questions. Information about how influenceable the customer is may be provided for responding to 10 more questions, and so forth. [0039] In another implementation, which is related to all of the above examples, individuals are rated either in relative or absolute terms. The rating may be based on relatively simple criteria, or it may be more complex. In one approach, key indicators are taken for a desired outcome. For example, for a sale that requires approval from the CEO of a company, it may be necessary to identify a few "Champions" that have a connection to the CEO, and then additionally identify the one Champion that will be best at convincing the CEO to approve the sale. In this example, key indicators may include for instance "communication style," and "personality overlap" metrics. Based on the profile data for the CEO, from previously provided answers to survey questions, averages of these metrics are taken, for each Champion to CEO pairing. The same is done between the User and each of the Champions, and averages of these metrics are taken. Based on the key metrics for the Champion to CEO, and the User to Champion, a Score is calculated for each Champion, which optionally is expressed as a number (e.g., 1 to 5 stars, %, on a scale to 10 or some other way). Optionally, ratings are generated separately for a plurality of different outcomes and different colours, icons or patterns are used to visually display the various ratings. Alternatively the Champions are presented in order of suitability one relative to the other, either on an overall basis or separately according to each different outcome.

[0040] Of course, the rating of an individual in a social context is also envisaged.

Based on a similar approach, individuals may be rated based on characteristics such as "fun," "innovation," or "date-ability."

[0041] Referring now to Fig. 2, shown is a method of profiling individuals according to an embodiment. At 200 a survey comprising a plurality of survey questions is formed for profiling individuals based on responses from respondents other than a target individual being profiled. In this example the target individual is connected to each of the respondents in a contact database. Alternatively, the target individual is connected to each of the respondents within a social network or the connections are defined in terms of an organizational chart of an organization, or a combination of connection types may be used. At 202 the survey is provided to each of the respondents, and each of the respondents provides answers to the survey questions. For example, for each sales lead (target individual), a questionnaire is filled out by each sales and marketing person (respondent) that includes the sales lead in their contact database. At 204 the resulting survey results are compiled and/or aggregated and/or sanitized and/or merged or combined with other survey results. At 206 an outcome is selected, such as for instance from a database of available outcomes. In particular, the selected outcome is indicative of a business or social context within which the profiling is performed. At 208 a psychological assessment of each target individual is generated. In particular, the psychological assessment is specific to the selected outcome. For example, if the target individual is a decision maker, the outcome may be "how do we get them to make the "right" decision." If the target individual is an influencer, the outcome may be "how do we get them to be positive to our products and services." If the target individual is able to block the decision, the outcome may be "how do we get them to maintain neutrality to our proposals." Thus, as individual roles in an organization are better known, the profile of that individual is tailored to the role of the individual and the goals of the selling organization. Instead of gathering psychometric data relating to a person's personality or other psychological markers, psychometric data is gathered in relation to a desired outcome. As outcomes change or are tuned, survey questions and those surveyed are optionally tuned as well. Of course, this example is presented in the context of business related outcomes but is equally applicable to outcomes that are social in nature, or that combine business and social aspects.

[0042] Referring to Fig. 3, shown is a typical data entry screen 300 for a CRM system. The system captures the names 302, addresses 304, contact information 306, and details 308 about each of a plurality of contacts. Separately, the system gathers from people within the organization survey data relating to each contact and uses the survey data to adjust the information on the screen. Darker information is more set - harder to change, while lighter information is more flexible. As can be seen, according to the system John Smith will not leave Rochester NY, but will gladly take a new job. Further, John is characterized as a strong leader indicated beside his name. When a user intends to interact with John Smith, they may retrieve the contact record and obtain not only telephone or email contact information etc., but also an indication of how to interact effectively with John Smith. For instance, during the course of a telephone conversation the user may wish to mention a funny cat video or ask John Smith how his cat is doing.

[0043] Other characterizations are essential to the operation of a proper sales effort; usually these are gathered by the sales people during one-on-one interactions. Instead, the information so gathered is used to profile John Smith and to allow both for clear indications of data that heretofore would not have been recorded and for predictions of outcomes that heretofore were left to experts to make. For example, John's ability to round out a team is hard to assess from a resume or even from meeting John. One would need to meet the team and see the team interaction in order to estimate John's role and effectiveness in such a team. With 3rd party assessments of each team member and of John designed to evaluate the team interactions, and with sufficient respondents to the assessments, the system will generate a psychometric assessment of each of the team members and of John. A team assessment is thereby facilitated. The team assessment optionally includes other data such as resume data. Further optionally, respondents are chosen such that psychometric results for John and for the team members are comparable - relatively.

[0044] Because a plurality of respondents, possibly a large number of respondents, provide answers to survey questions for a given target individual, it is possible to recognize and filter outliers. Outliers will indicate one of several situations. For example, a respondent who answers questions incorrectly might indicate a lack of reliability in their data. This may result from the data being bad data. In the case where a respondent intentionally gives bad data, not rewarding them for worthless data is advisable. A person answering questions incorrectly might indicate a severe personality flaw. In such a case, the data provided may be unreliable vis a vis the target individual, but is indicative of psychometric information about the respondent that provided the data. In a third case, the incorrect answers indicate a behaviour that is specific to the respondent or to a group of individual respondents. For example, some individuals interact differently with superiors than with those below them in the organization. Other people interact differently with men than with women or are racially prejudiced. With large enough respondent groups, many variables are assessable that are otherwise difficult to assess without psychometric survey questions designed to indicate same. As such, larger sample groups provide additional information beyond mere psychometric question results. Thus, at a later time, additional data may be collected by asking additional respondents to provide additional data. Data confidence increases as the size of a pool of respondents increases.

[0045] Importantly, a quality of psychometric data can be improved through further responses - either to further questions or by further respondents. Also, statistical analysis of different datasets allows for combination of profiling data to form more accurate, more predictive and/or more complex psychometric datasets. Further, analysis of free form data or notes allows for survey design or alternatively can be used as additional data within the assessments.

[0046] Returning again to a sales scenario, a customer (target individual) profile is formed by having people (respondents) within an organization each answer a set of questions about the customer. From this data, "probability of success" forecasts may be generated for different sales people, and account assignments to the "optimum" sales person may be made. This will facilitate the customer relationship by providing compatible sales-customer interactions. Alternatively, if a sales person having a minimum level of experience is required to lead the account, and that sales person is not determined to be the "optimum" sales person, then the psychometric profiling may be used by the experienced sales person to improve the relationship with the customer. In this way, a sales process customized to the particular customer is designed to account for the patience of the customer and the comfort of the customer with different sales tactics, etc. Finally, once a sale is completed, the matter is passed on for after sale maintenance and/or support and the same or different customer profile is used in this respect.

[0047] Optionally, relative profiling is used in some applications - not absolute.

For instance, in some circumstances it may not be necessary to develop an actual profile. Rather, it may be sufficient merely to determine which one of a plurality of options is better or worse for a particular customer. By way of an example, if there are three after- sale support staff available to assist a customer, then it may be sufficient merely to determine which of the after-sale staff is most appropriate for that customer. Alternatively, the customers themselves may be rated one relative to another based on one or more criteria determined in dependence upon a desired outcome.

[0048] Of course, in the above-described examples the surveying may be carried out in any appropriate and convenient manner. In one approach, each individual responds to a paper survey and the results are subsequently collected and entered into the records of the database. Alternatively, the individuals complete the survey electronically, either by completing and returning an electronic form or by navigating to a web page or other electronic resource and completing the fields that are provided. Optionally, the responses may be provided from within a local area network (LAN) or conveniently using a device that is connected to a wide area network (WAN) such as for instance the Internet 100 as shown in Fig. 1.

[0049] Many of the examples that are provided above relate to business contexts, such as sales, team building, management, etc. Optionally, the methods that are described above are applied to non-business contests. For instance, a user may find it beneficial to develop a profile for a peer, a business associate, a competitor or a social contact, etc. In a specific and non-limiting application, the user accesses information relating to an individual by logging into a social media service. The user is presented with a series of questions relating to the personality/behavior of the individual, and selects one of the questions (an outcome) to be answered. For example, the question that the user selects to be answered may be "Is the principle of reciprocity an effective influence tactic with Jenny?" The user is then required to complete a short survey by indicating how strongly he or she agrees or disagrees with each of a series of statements relating to Jenny. At the end of the survey, the user's responses are aggregated with the responses of all of the users and a composite profile is created for the individual. Advantageously, all users of the application can access the aggregate profile (e.g., crowd- sourced content).

[0050] The following examples are based on outcomes involving individuals within an organization, such as for instance a company, a club etc. An individual (User) within an organization a creates profile of any other individual (Target) within the organization, and then receive useful insights and suggestions for assisting the User in building rapport, anticipating objections, framing ideas, negotiating successfully, handling tense situations, managing more effectively and harmonizing working styles in general with the Target(s).

[0051] In an example (customer service example) the User may have an important update to give to a key customer, which the customer may potentially find unpleasant. The User (Subject individual) selects answers to several questions about his or her impressions of the customer and a profile is generated along with tips and suggestions for how to best frame the update to the customer (Target individual). This process may be applied to other situations between service providers and their customers.

[0052] In an example (colleague example) the User (Subject individual) may desire more timely responses from a key colleague/co- worker (Target individual). The User selects answers to several questions about his or her impressions of the co-worker and a profile is generated along with tips and suggestions for how to motivate that coworker to respond more quickly based on key elements of the co-worker's personality.

[0053] In an example (employee-employer example) the User (Subject individual) may require the active support of his manager (Target individual) for an upcoming meeting. The User selects answers to several questions about his impressions of his manager and a profile is generated along with tips and suggestions for how to position his request to best appeal to his manager based on his manager's personality traits.

[0054] The following examples are based on outcomes involving, more generally, any individual wishing to have an effect on another individual in a social context. An individual (User) creates a profile of any other individual (Target) in a social context and then receive useful insights and suggestions for assisting the User in building rapport, anticipating objections, framing ideas, negotiating successfully, handling tense situations, managing more effectively and harmonizing working styles in general with the Target. [0055] In an example (neighbour example) the User (Subject individual) may wish to convince his neighbour (Target individual) to support a neighbourhood watch program for the block. The User selects answers to several questions about his or her impressions of the neighbour and a profile is generated along with tips and suggestions for positioning the User's proposal to the neighbour and for anticipating the neighbours concerns.

[0056] In another example (spouse example) the User (Subject individual) may want to convince his spouse (Target individual) to agree to a summer vacation in a specific location, while his spouse has expressed an interest in a different location. The User selects answers to several questions about his impressions of his spouse and a profile is generated along with tips and suggestions for how to negotiate a win-win outcome that best meets the needs of both parties, based on each party's personality preferences.

[0057] In another example (parent-teacher example) the User (Subject individual) may be a teacher and requires a parent (Target individual) to support his efforts to help the student get better grades. Having met the parent on several occasions, the User is able to select answers to several questions about his impressions of the parent and a profile is generated along with tips and suggestions for how to gain the parent's support and engagement in the teaching-learning process.

[0058] Referring now to Fig. 4, shown is a simplified flow diagram of a method according to an embodiment. At 400 a group of respondents is determined, each respondent having a connection with the target individual within a connection network. At 402 each respondent is provided with at least one survey question relating to an aspect of the target individual. At 404 an answer is received from each respondent to the at least one survey question provided thereto. At 406 profile data is stored for the target individual based on the answer received from each respondent. At 408 a selection of a first outcome is received, from a stored database of outcomes, based on a desired type of interaction between the target individual and a subject individual. At 410 a first profile of the target individual is generated based on first criteria associated with the selected first outcome. At 412, based on personality profile data of the subject individual and the generated profile of the target individual, a first suggested action to be performed by the subject individual to achieve the first outcome is selected from a database of suggested actions. At 414 feedback data is received from the subject individual, the feedback data rating the effectiveness of the suggested action in achieving the first outcome.

[0059] Referring now to Fig. 5, shown is a simplified flow diagram of a method according to an embodiment. At 500 a group of respondents is determined, each respondent having a connection with the target individual within a connection network. At 502 each respondent is provided with at least one survey question relating to an aspect of the target individual. At 504 an answer is received from each respondent to the at least one survey question provided thereto. At 506 profile data is stored for the target individual based on the answer received from each respondent. At 508 a selection of a first outcome is received, from a stored database of outcomes, based on a desired type of interaction between the target individual and a subject individual. At 510 the subject individual is provided with one or more questions specific to the selected first outcome. At 512 answers to the one or more questions are receiving from the subject individual. At 514, based on the answers received from the subject individual, a first profile of the target individual is generated and a first suggested action to be performed by the subject individual to achieve the first outcome is selected from a database of suggested actions. At 516 feedback data is received from the subject individual, the feedback data rating the effectiveness of the suggested action in achieving the first outcome.

[0060] Referring now to Fig. 6, shown is a simplified flow diagram of a method according to an embodiment. At 600 a group of respondents is determined, each respondent having a connection with the target individual within a connection network. At 602 each respondent is provided with at least one survey question relating to an aspect of the target individual. At 604 an answer is received from each respondent to the at least one survey question provided thereto. At 606 profile data is stored for the target individual based on the answer received from each respondent. At 608 a first profile of the target individual is generated for a first outcome, the first outcome relating to a type of interaction between the target individual and a subject individual. At 610, based on the first profile of the subject individual for the first outcome and a profile of at least one other individual for the first outcome, determining a rating of the target individual for the first outcome relative to the at least one other individual.

[0061] While several inventive embodiments have been described and illustrated herein, those of ordinary skill in the art will readily envision a variety of other means and/or structures for performing the function and/or obtaining the results and/or one or more of the advantages described herein, and each of such variations and/or modifications is deemed to be within the scope of the invent of embodiments described herein. It is, therefore, to be understood that the foregoing embodiments are presented by way of example only and that, within the scope of the appended claims and equivalents thereto, inventive embodiments may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described and claimed. Inventive embodiments of the present disclosure are directed to each individual feature, system, article, material, kit, and/or method described herein. In addition, any combination of two or more such features, systems, articles, materials, kits, and/or methods, if such features, systems, articles, materials, kits, and/or methods are not mutually inconsistent, is included within the inventive scope of the present disclosure.

[0062] All definitions, as defined and used herein, should be understood to control over dictionary definitions, and/or ordinary meanings of the defined terms. The indefinite articles "a" and "an," as used herein in the specification and in the claims, unless clearly indicated to the contrary, should be understood to mean "at least one." The phrase "and/or," as used herein in the specification and in the claims, should be understood to mean "either or both" of the elements so conjoined, i.e., elements that are conjunctively present in some cases and disjunctively present in other cases.

[0063] Multiple elements listed with "and/or" should be construed in the same fashion, i.e., "one or more" of the elements so conjoined. Other elements may optionally be present other than the elements specifically identified by the "and/or" clause, whether related or unrelated to those elements specifically identified. Thus, as a non-limiting example, a reference to "A and/or B", when used in conjunction with open-ended language such as "comprising" can refer, in one embodiment, to A only (optionally including elements other than B); in another embodiment, to B only (optionally including elements other than A); in yet another embodiment, to both A and B (optionally including other elements); etc.

[0064] As used herein in the specification and in the claims, "or" should be understood to have the same meaning as "and/or" as defined above. For example, when separating items in a list, "or" or "and/or" shall be interpreted as being inclusive, i.e., the inclusion of at least one, but also including more than one, of a number or list of elements, and, optionally, additional unlisted items. Only terms clearly indicated to the contrary, such as "only one of or "exactly one of," or, when used in the claims, "consisting of," will refer to the inclusion of exactly one element of a number or list of elements. In general, the term "or" as used herein shall only be interpreted as indicating exclusive alternatives (i.e. "one or the other but not both") when preceded by terms of exclusivity, such as "either," "one of," "only one of," or "exactly one of." "Consisting essentially of," when used in the claims, shall have its ordinary meaning as used in the field of patent law.

[0065] As used herein in the specification and in the claims, the phrase "at least one," in reference to a list of one or more elements, should be understood to mean at least one element selected from any one or more of the elements in the list of elements, but not necessarily including at least one of each and every element specifically listed within the list of elements and not excluding any combinations of elements in the list of elements. This definition also allows that elements may optionally be present other than the elements specifically identified within the list of elements to which the phrase "at least one" refers, whether related or unrelated to those elements specifically identified. Thus, as a non-limiting example, "at least one of A and B" (or, equivalently, "at least one of A or B," or, equivalently "at least one of A and/or B") can refer, in one embodiment, to at least one, optionally including more than one, A, with no B present (and optionally including elements other than B); in another embodiment, to at least one, optionally including more than one, B, with no A present (and optionally including elements other than A); in yet another embodiment, to at least one, optionally including more than one, A, and at least one, optionally including more than one, B (and optionally including other elements); etc.

[0066] It should also be understood that, unless clearly indicated to the contrary, in any methods claimed herein that include more than one step or act, the order of the steps or acts of the method is not necessarily limited to the order in which the steps or acts of the method are recited.

[0067] In the claims, as well as in the specification above, all transitional phrases such as "comprising," "including," "carrying," "having," "containing," "involving," "holding," "composed of," and the like are to be understood to be open-ended, i.e., to mean including but not limited to. Only the transitional phrases "consisting of and "consisting essentially of shall be closed or semi-closed transitional phrases, respectively.

[0068] The foregoing description of methods and embodiments of the invention has been presented for purposes of illustration. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise steps and/or forms disclosed, and obviously many modifications and variations are possible in light of the above teaching. It is intended that the scope of the invention and all equivalents be defined by the claims appended hereto.

Claims

CLAIMS What is claimed is:
1. A method of assessing a profile for a target individual, comprising:
determining a group of respondents each having a connection with the target individual within a connection network;
providing each respondent with at least one survey question relating to an aspect of the target individual;
receiving from each respondent an answer to the at least one survey question provided thereto;
storing profile data for the target individual based on the answer received from each respondent;
receiving a selection of a first outcome, from a stored database of outcomes, based on a desired type of interaction between the target individual and a subject individual;
generating a first profile of the target individual based on first criteria associated with the selected first outcome;
based on personality profile data of the subject individual and the generated profile of the target individual, selecting from a database of suggested actions a first suggested action to be performed by the subject individual to achieve the first outcome; and
receiving from the subject individual feedback data rating the effectiveness of the first suggested action in achieving the first outcome.
2. The method of claim 1, wherein the personality profile data of the subject individual is based on a self-profile provided by the subject individual.
3. The method of claim 1 , wherein the personality profile data of the subject individual is based on the subject individual's responses to one or more questions that are specific to the selected first outcome.
4. The method of claim 1, wherein the personality profile data of the subject interval is generated based on third parties responses to at least one survey question relating to an aspect of the subject individual.
5. The method of claim 4, wherein the third parties include at least some of the respondents.
6. The method of claim 1, comprising forming a subset of the profile data in accordance with the first criteria, wherein the generated first profile is based on the subset of the profile data.
7. The method of claim 6, wherein the subset of the profile data excludes profile data that are based on respondent answers to survey questions that are specific to outcomes other than the first outcome.
8. The method of claim 1, comprising updating stored data that are indexed to the suggested first action based on the received feedback data.
9. The method of claim 1 , wherein the target individual belongs to a first organization and the subject individual belongs to a second organization that is different than the first organization.
10. The method of claim 9, wherein the first organization is a first business entity and the second organization is a second business entity, and wherein the connection network comprises connections that are defined by a contact database within the first business entity.
11. The method of claim 1 , wherein the target individual and the subject individual belong to a same first organization.
12. The method of claim 11, wherein the first organization is a business entity, and wherein the connection network comprises connections that are defined by an
organizational structure of the business entity.
13. The method of claim 11, wherein the first organization is a computer-implemented social network, and wherein the connection network comprises connections that are defined by the computer-implemented social network.
14. The method of claim 1, comprising providing each respondent with a benefit for answering the at least one survey question.
15. The method of claims 14, wherein the benefit comprises an answer to a
predetermined query.
16. The method of claim 14, wherein the benefit comprises an answer to a query selected from a group of potential queries.
17. The method of claim 14, wherein the benefit comprises an answer to a provided query.
18. The method of claim 1, comprising storing the generated first profile, and further comprising storing a statistical analysis of a reliability of the first profile.
19. The method of claim 18, comprising:
determining an answer that is misaligned with the stored statistical analysis, and determining based thereon at least one of:
information relating to a relationship between the respondent that provided the misaligned answer and the subject individual; and
information relating directly to the respondent that provided the misaligned answer.
20. The method claim 1, wherein the first profile is a psychometric profile of the subject individual.
21. The method of claim 1, wherein the first profile comprises data that is other than providable from the subject individual user via a social network personal data input screen.
22. The method of claim 1, wherein the first outcome is sales related.
23. The method of claim 10, wherein the first profile of the target individual is generated based on data collected from 3rd party individuals who are members of a community outside both of the first organization and the second organization.
24. The method of claim 12, wherein the first profile of the target individual is generated based on data collected from 3rd party individuals who are members of a community outside of the first organization.
25. A method of assessing a profile for a target individual, comprising:
determining a group of respondents each having a connection with the target individual within a connection network;
providing each respondent with at least one survey question relating to an aspect of the target individual;
receiving from each respondent an answer to the at least one survey question provided thereto;
storing profile data for the target individual based on the answer received from each respondent;
receiving a selection of a first outcome, from a stored database of outcomes, based on a desired type of interaction between the target individual and a subject individual;
providing the subject individual with one or more questions specific to the selected first outcome; receiving from the subject individual answers to the one or more questions;
based on the answers received from the subject individual, generating a first profile of the target individual and selecting, from a database of suggested actions, a first suggested action to be performed by the subject individual to achieve the first outcome; and
receiving from the subject individual feedback data rating the effectiveness of the suggested action in achieving the first outcome.
26. The method of claim 25, comprising forming a subset of the profile data in accordance with the first criteria, wherein the generated first profile is based on the subset of the profile data.
27. The method of claim 26, wherein the subset of the profile data excludes profile data that are based on respondent answers to survey questions that are specific to outcomes other than the first outcome.
28. The method of claim 25, comprising updating stored data that are indexed to the suggested first action based on the received feedback data.
29. The method of claim 25, wherein the target individual belongs to a first organization and the subject individual belongs to a second organization that is different than the first organization.
30. The method of claim 29, wherein the first organization is a first business entity and the second organization is a second business entity, and wherein the connection network comprises connections that are defined by a contact database within the first business entity.
31. The method of claim 25, wherein the target individual and the subject individual belong to a first organization.
32. The method of claim 31, wherein the first organization is a business entity, and wherein the connection network comprises connections that are defined by an organizational structure of the business entity.
33. The method of claim 31, wherein the first organization is a computer-implemented social network, and wherein the connection network comprises connections that are defined by the computer-implemented social network.
34. A method of assessing a profile for a target individual, comprising:
determining a group of respondents each having a connection with the target individual within a connection network;
providing each respondent with at least one survey question relating to an aspect of the target individual;
receiving from each respondent an answer to the at least one survey question provided thereto;
storing profile data for the target individual based on the answer received from each respondent;
generating a first profile of the target individual for a first outcome, the first outcome relating to a type of interaction between the target individual and a subject individual;
based on the first profile of the subject individual for the first outcome and a profile of at least one other individual for the first outcome, determining a rating of the target individual for the first outcome relative to the at least one other individual.
35. A method comprising:
determining a group of respondents each having a connection with the target individual within a connection network;
providing each respondent with at least one survey question relating to an aspect of the target individual;
receiving from each respondent an answer to the at least one survey question provided thereto; storing first profile data for the target individual based on the answer received from each respondent;
determining a group of respondents each having a connection with the subject individual within a connection network;
providing each respondent with at least one survey question relating to an aspect of the subject individual;
receiving from each respondent an answer to the at least one survey question provided thereto;
storing second profile data for the subject individual based on the answer received from each respondent;
selecting a first outcome;
based on the first profile, the second profile and the first outcome, determining a course of action selected from a plurality of stored courses of action for the subject individual to perform to achieve the outcome.
PCT/CA2015/051058 2014-10-21 2015-10-21 Method and system for context-sensitive profiling WO2016061676A1 (en)

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Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
CA2630489A1 (en) * 2007-05-24 2008-11-24 Hilla Dotan A method and a tool for measuring the formation and effects of workplace friendships
WO2010096856A1 (en) * 2009-02-26 2010-09-02 Raymond Mchale A method and system for collecting stakeholder relationship data
WO2011040822A1 (en) * 2009-09-29 2011-04-07 Luvitorshuvit Limited User preference surveys

Patent Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
CA2630489A1 (en) * 2007-05-24 2008-11-24 Hilla Dotan A method and a tool for measuring the formation and effects of workplace friendships
WO2010096856A1 (en) * 2009-02-26 2010-09-02 Raymond Mchale A method and system for collecting stakeholder relationship data
WO2011040822A1 (en) * 2009-09-29 2011-04-07 Luvitorshuvit Limited User preference surveys

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