A quick primer on Social Network Analysis

Posted by  Andrew Rixon —December 2, 2005
Filed in Communication

Given that I’m right in the middle of a social network analysis, I thought I’d throw together a very quick, very brief primer on Social Network Analysis.

What is Social Network Analysis? A social network is a map of the relationships between individuals, the analysis involves a study of these relationships.

How do you do a Social Network Analysis?

  • Step 1. Design your questions. We’ve discussed this a little here.
  • Step 2. Send out your questions as a survey. Surveymonkey is a great online tool for this.
  • Step 3. Export the survey results into a visualisation package. Personally I like Netdraw.

This produces output like:


  • Step 4. Instead of writing a report (which has minimal impact) use a participatory approach. Involve a group of decision makers in a sensemaking process around the visualisations. For example, discussions around Connectors, Mavens and Salesmen might provide a useful starter.
  • Step 5. Don’t forget the participants. Provide them an opportunity to receive their own personal social networks in return and appreciation of the time and effort they spent completing the survey.

For more, see here and here …hmmm… I wonder if there was anything I missed…

About  Andrew Rixon

Comments Off on A quick primer on Social Network Analysis