Usually the concept of social network analytics (SNA) is seen as applicable to Social Media companies such as Facebook and LinkedIn. However, SNA has far reaching applications in other industries than just in social media.
For instance, one of the products I worked on for a telecom giant used the concept of social network analysis. How do you motivate people to move from VoIP calls and messenger chatting back to mobile and telephone calling? What if we could discount talk time tariffs for people to make calls to friends? Or friends of friends. After all, for every second a mobile network line is not used, we lose potential dollars in revenue. By building an app that could motivate people to make calls to friends they would otherwise WhatsApp or friends they haven’t spoken to in a long time (but would love to if it didn’t cost a thing), the telecom company was addressing their challenge of mobile churn using the knowledge of SNA to give an incentive to people to make calls.
Also, think about HR/HCM products. If a company needed to institute organizational change to expand their global diversity and inclusion efforts, they might just identify influencers within their organizations who could evangelize the cause. Then, the D&I programs would have higher chances of success because the influencers are able to increase adoption of these programs within companies. SNA makes identifying influencers accurately much easier than any other data mining technique or worse, guessing.
What about insurance companies? They can use social network analysis to preempt fraud. By identifying links with blacklisted entities or detecting abnormal behavior when someone’s activity deviates from their peer group’s, they are able to identify individuals whom they should not extend insurance offers to.
Then there are several dating apps using SNA to avoid embarrassing situations by showing your profile to a match who is someone you know or who is within your network (eeks!)
As you can see, the applications of social network analysis can be creatively extrapolated to address a variety of organizational challenges. So, what application are you thinking?!
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