A recent article in the Danish ComputerWorld raises an important issue of potential misuse of Social Network Analysis (SNA) tools. The journalist - Dan Mygind - interviews one of Denmark’s leading expert within SNA - Professor Christian Waldstrøm, who is very clear in his message.
"Social Network Analysis is a very powerful tool that can create more damage than good if not use in the right way", says Christian Waldstrøm.
While agreeing to this point, I also think the article is casting an unnecessary bad light over SNA-tools. Many organizations could benefit greatly from the application of SNA-tools. In an increasing competitive world focus on customers are getting more and more important. Therefore it is vital to know how many resources an organization is spending on a customer in relation to the overall value of the customer to the organization. Another useful SNA-application is the identification and development of individuals, groups and cooperation relationships, which will have an impact on the organizations ability to create growth. Last but not least a social network analysis will identify unnecessary communication and help create an effective and focused communication culture within the organization.
The important message here is, that a simple SNA-tool can’t stand alone and more advanced SNA-tools is on the market that, implemented by experts, will help organizations develop to secure future growth.