What can Social Network Analysis do for you?

Social network analysis, often abbreviated as SNA, can answer questions about how people and organizations are related, how they communicate, and how they work together. More specifically, we can examine:

  1. Communication and collaboration patterns
    • Who talks to who?
    • Who works with who?
  2. Direction of money and referral flow
    • Who are the major providers?
    • Who are the major recipients?
  3. Whether certain kinds of organizations are more likely to have connections
  4. Who are the big connectors in the network?
    • Is there someone who can reach many others directly?
    • Is there someone who can bring disconnected parties together?
    • Is there someone who can bring disconnected parties from different kinds of groups together?
  5. Changes in these patterns over time
    • Are collaborations getting stronger or more common?
    • Are different kinds of organizations more likely to collaborate over time?

Perhaps even more importantly, SNA can reveal gaps in the network. Are the partners who are recognized as highly important not in contact with the rest of the network? Are there groups of partners who are tightly connected to each other but otherwise isolated from others? Are there any partners who are completely disconnected from the network? SNA can allow you to see these patterns and quickly identify problem areas.

The following sections provide a short introduction to SNA, highlight some of our work in the area, and walk through the process of conducting an SNA evaluation.

Network Analysis 101: Learn the nuts and bolts of network analysis and the kinds of information it can provide.

Network Evaluation Highlights: See how we have applied network concepts to evaluation.

Network Process: Walk through the steps of conducting a network analysis and learn how stakeholders can take an active role.