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Subject Matter Expert (SME)

Definition - What does Subject Matter Expert (SME) mean?

A subject matter expert (SME) is an individual who is considered an expert on particular subjects, or flagged as an expert in a piece of management software or other technology. The subject matter expert has a particular territory in which he or she has demonstrated above-average knowledge or experience.

Techopedia explains Subject Matter Expert (SME)

One area of IT where subject matter experts are commonly used is in the field of content and content positioning. As companies integrate written content into the massive World Wide Web and across other platforms within social media, there is an emphasis on defining writers as subject matter experts, or otherwise organizing their knowledge and experience to benefit employers or contracting companies. Businesses use various strategies to identify and credential subject matter experts, and to use their knowledge as part of a greater project or campaign.

One of the interesting questions involved in identifying subject matter experts is in quantifying lifetime knowledge or career experience. There are many different ways to do this—for instance, someone who has written about a field extensively may be knowledgeable in a different way than someone who has not analyzed that field at a high level but has been working in it for a particular period of time. Managers of technologies, including subject matter expert flagging or identification, need to understand these criteria in order to use this software effectively.

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