Using Social Network Analysis [SNA] to find the Go-To People

Posted on by Brandon Klein

 Finding Go-To People and Subject Matter Experts [SME]

Each node in this sample network represents a person that works in a knowledge domain. Two people are connected if one goes to the other for expertise or advice in this knowledge domain: X --> Y means X seeks knowledge from Y. Those with many arrows pointing to them are sought out often for assistance. The nodes are colored by their potential to leave/exit the organization. Employees who will retire in 2 years or less have their nodes colored red. Those who will retire in 3-4 years are colored yellow. Those retiring in 5 years or later are colored green.

The top subject matter experts -- SMEs -- in this group are nodes 29, 46, 100, 41, 36 and 55. The SMEs were discovered using a network metric in InFlow that is similar to how the Google search engine ranks web pages -- using both direct and indirect links.

Of the top six SMEs in this group, half are colored red[100] or yellow[46, 55]. The loss of person 46 has the greatest potential for knowledge loss. 90% of the network is within 3 steps of accessing this key knowledge source.