Expertise locator overview

Expertise locator usage

This page explains the basics of how the Expertise locator works and how you might want to use this feature on your ThoughtFarmer intranet.

The Expertise locator can be used not only for user fields of expertise but for any way of classifying and tagging users that is useful to your organization. Each different type of expertise or attribute that you wish to use can be added as a custom field to user's profile pages. The unique type of custom field used for this purpose is called a Tag profile field.


The benefit of these tag profile fields is that the tags associated with them are used to identify people only, not content. For example, a regular tag called "C#" can be applied to pages, profiles, groups or any other type of content. So selecting this as a search facet would return results of all kinds. But if "C#" is added to a tag profile field on user's profiles, selecting it as a search facet will narrow your search down to only the people with that expertise - the people that you are looking for!

Organization and appearance of tag profile fields

As with all custom profile fields, tag fields must be added to a profile section. Custom sections help organize the layout when users edit their profile. Each section shows as its own heading when editing a profile, and its own tab when viewing a profile.

Custom profile section and field as seen on the Profile Details Admin page:

Custom profile section and field as seen on a user profile page:

Custom sections are also useful for organizing the tags that have been added to user profiles when searching the People Directory. The sections are shown as one of the search facets available on the People directory. They display below the last name facets and above the group type and regular tag facets.


Any combination of expertise tags, regular tags, and other search facets can be used to filter the People directory.

Default tag custom fields

New installations, or upgrades with no custom profile fields, come with a profile section containing a mix of tag custom fields and regular fields to help you get started using the Expertise locator. Upgrades that have custom fields already will maintain the existing customization.

Custom field group name: Expertise & Skills

Available fields:
  • Languages spoken: Tag field with 10 initial language tags added.
  • Technical Skills: Empty tag field ready for population.
  • Certifications: Empty tag field ready for population.
  • Education: Regular text field.
To learn how to create tag custom profile fields and add tags to them, see Configure tags for the Expertise Locator.