We are usually tuning our processes to increase efficiency, and a social network is part of this goal. Intruding on social media interactions on an ongoing basis (e.g., sending surveys and follow-up questions to people after they have valuable interactions) might kill the gain in efficiency that you tried to reach by introducing the ESN in the first place. Anecdotes and stories are ways to do some sampling, as I pointed out in the previous section.
But how do you really measure relationships? Usually, you would have to go through detailed interviews to learn about people’s relationships, but it is actually possible to learn at least something based on a few selected quantitative measures. Examples might be people’s interaction frequency, the number of links they have, the type of subnetworks they are connected to, and so on. Together with additional data on each of the network nodes, there is potential to make real, business-relevant observations.
SAS, the organization that launched The Hub, has been focusing on providing analytics solutions to customers, as well as internally, for many years. In recent years, the company started providing solutions that help organizations to analyze social networks as well.
There are some differences between analyzing a network at an insurance company to detect fraudulent behavior and analyzing an internal social network to get a better feeling of the connectivity of employees. But the techniques to visualize ...