Wikistrat
3.6 of 5 14 reviews
www.wikistrat.com Washington, DC 150 to 499 Employees

Wikistrat Reviews

Updated May 19, 2014

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3.6 14 reviews

                             

62% Approve of the CEO

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Joel Zamel

(8 ratings)

71% of employees recommend this company to a friend
14 Employee Reviews
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    Excellent opportunity to be a part of an innovative way to conduct intelligence analysis.

    Independent Contractor (Current Employee)

    ProsThe quest to improve intelligence analysis is never-ending. Researchers are currently examining how relying on a larger pool of analysts can improve intelligence analysis. The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) even has a program dedicated to this called, “Aggregative Contingent Estimation.”

    And this is where Wikistrat leads the way. Wikistrat relies on a global network of analysts, with a variety of backgrounds, to conduct geopolitical strategic analysis and forecasting.

    I’ve only been with Wikistrat for a few months but I’ve already had the opportunity to participate in some interesting simulations and forecasting opportunities. I’ve also had the opportunity to meet new people and learn new things. The opinions and insights of the Wikistrat network vary as much as the background of the analysts in the network.

    Intelligence analysis is an incredibly difficult and usually thankless job. Successful analysis is often kept quiet with others (often not without merit) receiving credit. But when a disaster occurs one of the first questions the public asks is, “Why didn’t intelligence warn us about this?” A professional acquaintance once described this peculiarity in the following way: “When something goes right they call it an operational success. But when something goes wrong they call it an intelligence failure.”

    Wikistrat, with its global pool of analysts, is doing its part to make intelligence failures a rarer thing.

    ConsIf you are looking for an immediate, full-time job Wikistrat is not the place for you. You can earn money through Wikistrat and the amount of money you earn is dependent on the level of your participation. So far I am pleased with the amount of money I've earned from Wikistrat.

    However, when you start out with Wikistrat you will not earn enough to make it a full-time job. There isn't anything wrong with this (Wikistrat is a network of analysts and those analysts that participate are consultants--not employees) but if people go into Wikistrat with the wrong impression of what it is they will be sorely disappointed.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep working to promote individual analysts and keep reaching out to both the public and private sectors in order to promote Wikistrat and advise these sectors of what Wikistrat can provide them.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Great professional skill-building, terrible compensation

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsWikistrat offers great opportunities for building analytic skills, many opportunities for building leadership skills, and a solid community of other analysts to debate.

    ConsThe fact that this for-profit company doesn't see fit to regularly compensate its highly-skilled analysts is despicable. But it's a testament to the passion of its analysts and novelty of the Web 2.0 analysis model that they keep working anyway.

    Most analysts are working for free, as only those few who are "called out" every month receive any remuneration at all.

    If you want great experience, it's a worthwhile part-time gig. If you're OK not getting a regular salary, look elsewhere.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStart compensating your analysts fairly! Once the novelty of your model wears off, all your talented analysts will leave.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Great environment to contribute to and work with, but few incentives

    Researcher (Current Employee)

    ProsThis cutting edge, crowdsourced, budding online geopolitical consulting firm is a great place to see where the industry will see its biggest change

    ConsThe point system distracts from the fact that interns and lower-level analysts are basically unpaid. Networking is also difficult. This gives little incentive to excel.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBetter compensation and better networking opportunities for lower-level staff necessary -- even if not in money!

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    New, Interesting, Different!

    Senior Analyst (Current Employee)

    ProsWikistrat is a very different kind of analytic experience. The Wikistrat "platform" engages a wide array of experts to analyze geopolitical issues uses a proprietary "wiki"-like platform. In a sense, the experience is like simultaneously building and editing an analytic product in real time with a large number of people weighing-in and editing the product as it is being produced. It may sound chaotic, but the process really works and management is adept at keeping analyses focused and productive.

    Management is also good at recognizing analysts who produce quality work and are good at collaborating with others. Opportunities grow with experience on the platform and Wikistrat is sufficiently entrepreneurial to encourage its producers to assist with the business development/sales process and bring additional expertise onto the platform.

    Communication and networking with experts around the world is very easy. Individual opportunities to make contact and network with other experts in the Wikistrat universe is unimpeded (and encouraged) by management.

    For those interested in strategic analysis and forecasting, Wikistrat is new, innovative, and a platform for generating broad and insightful analysis quickly and efficiently. Yes, there are opportunities to make money, although the distributed nature of "crowdsourced" analysis limits compensation to any individual analysts - so your mileage may vary. On the other hand, I would recommend that anyone joining Wikistrat consider that a large part of the "compensation" is in the fun, education, and intellectual challenge that comes with collaborating with other experts on an array of truly interesting topics.

    ConsAs mentioned above, the opportunities to make money at Wikistrat are limited by the nature of the platform and the time it takes to prove yourself, so it is important to be realistic.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI think Wikistrat is truly innovative and forward looking. As the company grows, maintaining and improving quality control will become increasingly important, particularly on large scale projects.

    Many of the analytic questions that come to Wikistrat are in the nature of defense/national security/international affairs policy and as such, Wikistrat tends to be heavy with expertise in those areas. However, Wikistrat offers great promise for helping private sector companies simulate market conditions, forecast future trends, and improve management efficiency. Over time, Wikistrat needs to recruit more people with industry and finance experience to capitalize on these opportunities.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Wikistrat Gives Slavery a Bad Name.

    Analyst (Former Employee)
    New York, NY

    ProsThere's ample opportunity to network with others in the field to help you find another full-time job, whether in international relations, international business, intelligence, political risk, etc.

    Wikistrat's online platform, the "GloMod", is truly revolutionary in that it allows participants worldwide to participate in the company's simulations and scenarios in real-time. This is especially important given that, again, most of the company's Analysts are global and are in different time zones. Consequently, the opportunity for immediate feedback is tremendous.

    ConsWikistrat's business model is to corral analysts worldwide online, work them for little or no pay, then publish the analysts' work in a final report (whereby the Senior or even Lead Analyst apparently takes all the credit) which is then distributed to clients at a profit.

    Even when the company does occasionally pay you through PayPal, they expect you to pickup up the cost of the transaction fee. This may be only a matter of a few dollars and cents, but it's the principle of the matter and it leaves a thoroughly disgusting impression.

    As mentioned in previous postings, Wikistrat's point system is supposed to somehow make you forget you're not actually being compensated monetarily for your time. Even worse, Analysts who are recognized as "Analyst of the Week" are exploited as free company salespeople/spokespeople online, as Wikistrat does not formally even have a marketing department (at least according to their website). The same is true of Analysts who give interviews in other fora/media totally unrelated to Wikistrat.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStop being so blatantly, shamelessly, and ruthlessly exploitative and cheap.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Excellent opportunities to work and network with analysts across the globe

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsThe Wikistrat platform and its managers are unusually adept at harnessing the skills and knowledge of analysts to assess geopolitical risks and opportunities. Management is very good about recognizing analysts who produce quality work and collaborate well with others, and networking with experts across the globe is made easy by the organization's online system. There are even opportunities to make money. For those interested in strategic analysis and forecasting, Wikistrat is a very interesting organization.

    ConsWikistrat is more of an analytic network than a company that directly employs people, so compensation can be largely non-monetary even though analysts who work hard can and do earn.

    Advice to Senior ManagementSimulations produce forecasts of considerable originality, depth, and breadth. But it can also be useful to engage in longer-term (simulation and/or non-simulation) studies that break ground in specific areas.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Great opportunities and grand vision alongside challenging growing pains

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsThe Wikistrat Web 2.0 open-source platform is a truly cutting-edge concept and offers analysis product provided by an educated, diverse, and (generally) select community. Being a part of it offers great experience through training and occasional networking opportunities, especially for those starting out in intelligence analysis or more senior professionals looking to build a consulting business. Simulations are fantastic opportunities in both analysis techniques (it's a structured process), client services (you interact directly with the client throughout the sims) and thought leadership (the model is a novel concept).

    ConsSometimes analysts are hired who lack serious analytical skills or experience and they muddle through and devalue projects. But they at least generally stand out and are eventually weeded out, as in any company. It's not hard to be recognized for contributions within the company but it's very difficult to gain recognition in the company's public face (senior analysts generally get the credit).

    Advice to Senior ManagementOccasional dinners and personal emails are great, but increase the levels of transparency and communication with staff and the analytic community. Give company status updates. Get senior advisors more heavily involved in the analytic community. Give greater recognition to all analysts building published reports. If you don't, your best talent is liable to walk and/or be hired away. Dr. Barnett is a great conceptualist but needs to gain some humility and allow outside counsel to offer fresh ideas.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Wikistrat is a joke

    Analyst (Former Employee)

    ProsNot many, other then you meet some good people at the lower levels (before they quit).

    ConsMajority of analysts are a joke. Leadership runs it to give themselves fancy titles such as 'Senior Analyst'. These people don't have a clue about analysis. All of their simulations are based off of personal opinion without needing any supporting evidence (actual description given to me by a supervisor). I doubt many of these people went to any real Universities. Supervisors are extremely bias, and take personal feelings into consideration more than facts. No pay, and others take credit for your work. Point system barely works. Expect you to work as if it's your full time job, when there is not pay or even compensation half the time.

    Advice to Senior ManagementFire yourselves would be the best option. Pay people for the work they do. Fix your point system. Get off your egotistical mentality that you're perfect, and stop being so biased in all of your simulations. Actually listen to people that are more experienced than you.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    The New Slavery

    Analyst (Former Employee)
    New York, NY

    ProsLots of slaves, no pay. This place is Wikipedia for people too stupid or useless to get a real job in the field. I also saw them sign up loads of high profile names strictly to leverage the publicity and piggyback of their reputations, yet these people didn't get a stitch of paid work. Avoid like the plague.

    ConsModern day slavery. Period. No pay. No meaningful work. Everyone is expected to just screw around online and somehow pay the bills like that? Get real. Total scam/con.

    Advice to Senior ManagementYou're exploitative.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Too many analysts, not enough individual opportunities

    Analyst (Former Employee)

    ProsAlthough most analysts affiliated with Wikistrat are unpaid, the work experience looks good on a resume for those seeking to eventually land a job in intelligence analysis.

    ConsWikistrat's focus is on "crowd-sourcing," i.e. bringing in hundreds of analysts to work on the same tasks together. This becomes overwhelming rather quickly, as it is difficult to distinguish your work from the 100+ other analysts against whom you are competing to contribute new ideas. Analysts are also ranked on a points scale in order to increase competitiveness and make it easy to forget that you do not receive compensation for your work.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Wikistrat reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Wikistrat CEO Joel Zamel. All 14 reviews posted anonymously by Wikistrat employees.