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Helping Make the Invisible Visible with Socialytics

Short Takes...on Analytics

Posted by John Hagel, Deloitte Consulting LLP

 

By now, you’re probably familiar with “social graphs,” the visual representation of how individuals are connected online. Popular social networks use social graphs to represent our personal connections.  While social graphs are interesting visualizations, they don’t tell us much in the way of practical business information.

On the other hand, social analytics – or socialytics – is the integration of social software and big data analytics to create insight from unstructured information. Beyond the social graph, socialytics can identify patterns that can inform and drive business decisions. Making an early home in marketing, where teams use socialytics to monitor social media content and gauge customer sentiment, the future of social analytics has a broader application across – and outside of – the enterprise.

What kinds of patterns can socialytics identify from an enterprise perspective? Take the recent internal analysis performed by Deloitte Australia on the early promise of social network analysis. Deloitte researchers used an advanced SONAR analytics tool in an analysis of data generated from a six-month study of internal social networks, email, web and phone interactions from 6,000 employees. They were looking at team performance in the context of a professional services organization, evaluating things like win rates, revenue per consultant, utilization rate, churn rate and so on.

Prior to the study, management believed that the highest performing teams were those tightly- integrated units that had worked together consistently over a long period of time. However, the results of the study showed that while the highest performing teams had reasonable interaction and integration within the team, they were very highly integrated outside of the team as well. In other words, high performing teams had a high number of connections beyond the team.

Socialytics in this case shifted the view of leadership about what kinds of working teams achieved the model level of performance. Where insulated teams were once viewed as focused and productive, the new information highlighted the risks of becoming too tightly integrated, insular and closed off from outside knowledge and innovation.

We have typically known that patterns of interaction are highly relevant to how we perform in business. But with socialytics, we can systematically track what kinds of interactions lead to high performance and what kinds don't. In The Power of Pull, I discuss the growing shift from protecting knowledge assets to participating in knowledge flows. Success can increasingly depend upon our availability to participate effectively in a diverse set of knowledge flows. By participating fully and socially and applying socialytics to create connected outcomes, we have the opportunity reimagine relationships and make the invisible visible.

Have you applied socialytics in your business? Can you see applications where new insights might be uncovered?

This publication contains general information only and Deloitte is not, by means of this publication, rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should it be used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect your business. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor.

Deloitte shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person who relies on this publication.

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Copyright © 2013 Deloitte Development LLC. All rights reserved

 

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