Measuring Networks

February 15, 2006 at 9:25 am Leave a comment

This is an interesting tool from trackingthethreat.com that provides a graphical overview of the Al Qaeda network. The data is collected from thousands of open source reports, documents & news stories which are put together to establish the network linkages.

I write about this tool as it’s one of the first I have seen that attempts to measure a network. In communications, it is interesting for an organisation to assess the links between their key stakeholders. The theory is that a stakeholder group has more influence over an organisation if it has multiple links with other stakeholders. The structure of the stakeholder network is a good indicator as to where the power and influence is centered – and this helps organisations in prioritising their communication and relationship building activities with stakeholders.

The theory and practice of the importance of stakeholder networks is growing. If you are interested, read this article (pdf) from Ann Svendsen of the Collaborative Learning and Innovation Group (Simon Fraser University, Canada) where she explains how organisations actively assess and work with their stakeholder networks.

I learnt about the trackingthethreat network tool from the information aesthetics blog that looks at novel approaches as to how data can be visually represented.

Glenn

Entry filed under: Evaluation tools (surveys, interviews..), General, Network analysis & mapping, PR evaluation.

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