Quantified Value Add (“QVA”)

Details about QVA, and the Calculation Methodology

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Written by Research Team
Updated over a week ago

We have built, and continue to build, many ways for all platform users to interact with Insights, and with each other. It is this interaction that we measure when we assess Quantified Value Add (“QVA”) which forms the basis of how we allocate subscription revenue among Insight Providers. 

QVA Calculation Methodology

Please refer to Figure 1. Consumption Analytics below for details on QVA metrics.

Key Definitions

  • QVA = 75% * Engagement Points + 25% * Collaboration Points.

  • QVA Share (%) = Your QVA / Total QVA.

  • QVA 3M Share (%)(or QVA 3M) = 3-month rolling average of your QVA Share.

  • Your Monthly Payment = ~70% * Smartkarma Subscription Revenues * Your QVA 3M Share for every month where you publish at least one Insight.


  • The Smartkarma Platform captures all on-platform interactions and groups them into Engagement and Collaboration metrics (Figure 1. Consumption Analytics). 

  • The metrics are weighted to adjust for relative frequency to get an even-balance between low- and high-frequency activities. These are then aggregated into Engagement and Collaboration Points for each Insight Provider.

  • Engagement and Collaboration Points are then compiled into a single metric, your QVA.

  • Adding up the monthly QVA for every Insight Provider gives us the Total QVA and thus, every Insight Provider’s pro-rata QVA Share.

  • We then compute the three (3)-month rolling average of QVA Share. This smooths out periods of lower activity (vacations, for example) and provides consistency. It also means ratings can be more reliable.

Key Notes:

  • The number of Insights published is not in itself a good guide to the value added to clients. QVA is designed to be a much broader and wholesome measure. It is reflective of a consistent improvement in quality and usefulness. For instance, your QVA can go up while you keep the number of Insights published constant so long as those Insights are driving more discussions, questions, viewership, etc.

  • No payment is made to Insight Providers in months where no Insights are published.

  • We do not count public views at all. This is about not causing controversy or click-bait among the “public” (we work hard to market the platform and do deals to increase subscriber numbers for you!).

  • Interactions between Team members do not count towards QVA. This is to ensure larger Insight Provider firms do not gain an asymmetric advantage.

Figure 1. Consumption Analytics

Key Engagement & Collaboration Metrics 

We continually strive to improve the QVA methodology to deliver value to our clients and to our Insight Provider (IP) community. This process of review occurs twice a year and we have initiated a regular internal QVA conference where the QVA committee consider and agree upon the implementation of any changes to the QVA algorithm. The committee includes representatives from all areas of Smartkarma. The latest conference was at the start of September 2018, with the next at the start of March 2019.

QVA measures different facets of engagement and collaboration to reward true value added. The goal is to fairly and meritocratically share revenue by rewarding those IP’s that add value to clients.

QVA for Teams

Due to the rising participation of teams of analysts on Smartkarma, we allow Team Leaders to monitor Analyst metrics across the firm as well as on a per-analyst level using the QVA Analytics tool. Please contact your Smartkarma Account Lead to assign your Team Leader.

Smartkarma’s Research Team

Our internal Research Team is a vitally important part of the process and provides the balance necessary to create Smartkarma.

The Research Team's role is to support the creation of great and valuable Insight. They are responsible for:

  • Onboarding and vetting our community of Insight Providers to ensure we remain a forum of professionals capable of adding value to clients,

  • Guiding the growth of research content for clients,

  • Driving initiatives to broaden substantiveness of research on Smartkarma, and

  • Providing ongoing input into our compliance processes.

A Final Point

Quantified Value Add (QVA) is at the core of our ranking and rewards model at Smartkarma, and it is one of the key differentiators between us and the ‘aggregators’. QVA drives value from all active clients to you, so you benefit directly from their interaction with your work.  QVA also rewards collaboration with your peers, another unique aspect of the Smartkarma network. Above all, QVA is the best representation of what adds the most value to clients.

We continue to seek feedback from you on how best to improve our methodology to incorporate a richer feature set while keeping clients’ interests at the forefront. Please keep the ideas and suggestions coming.

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