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Why Should I Care about Social Network Enterprise Software?
Stanley Wasserman
Sociology and Psychology
Indiana University
September 2004
Networks and Complex Systems Seminar Series
Indiana University
This talk, which could be subtitled "What I Did on my Summer Vacation", describes scientific work at
VisiblePath Corporation, in New York City.
VisiblePath's approach to social network analysis in the enterprise is based on four core tenets (taken
directly from
1. Social networks are complex.
Typical corporate networks are millions of times as complex as a simple social network structure.
Complexity is a function of robust attribute data on the nodes (people), multiple relations and links between
nodes, valued relations, degradation of relations over time, and the breadth and density of enterprise
networks, where typical networks include tens of millions of relations between millions of nodes.
2. Supporting data structures are complex.
Simple networks can be rendered as sociomatrices. Complex networks required tiered sociomatrices for
intelligent analysis and application of SNA theory. Complexity is compounded by the disparate sources of
relational data which include Customer Relations Management (CRM) systems, messaging applications,
desktop data, other enterprise sources, and the lack of common structure in the associated data models.
3. Data-oriented methodology drives efficient Relationship Capital Management (RCM).
Intelligent analysis has a significant impact on the value of an RCM system. At later stages of deployment,
efficient network path analysis delivers higher close rates and shorter sales cycles. At early stages of
deployment, efficient analysis dramatically reduces spam in the system that can undercut broad enterprise
4. RCM analytics power 3rd party applications.
The Visible Path platform is designed to enhance and extend existing enterprise applications. The value of
the platform is derived from proprietary modules that have been developed by Visible Path to manage the
quantity and complexity of data required to deliver effective application level functionality.
This talk focuses on the network analysis aspects of VisiblePath's software.