What is Network Analysis?
Learn what Network and Network Analysis are along with the Working, Benefits, Potential about network analysis.
We live in an interconnected world where data and information continuously flow across different platforms, making it essential to understand network dynamics. In recent years, network analysis has been used to identify and analyze statistical patterns.
How does network analysis work, and what does it do? In this blog, we will take a look at network analysis, its types, benefits, tools, and use cases.
What is a Network?
A network represents the collection of interconnected nodes and entities that exchange information and communicate with each other. In mathematical terms, a network is also referred to as a graph that consists of nodes and edges.
Here, nodes determine the object to be analyzed and edges are the relationship between those objects/nodes.
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Networks can be found in the contexts of technological, social, and biological systems.
For example, In a biological system, nodes can be proteins or cells and edges will represent their physical and chemical interactions. Or in a social media network, the nodes will represent people while the edges will refer to the friendship, following, and collaboration between them.
What is Network Analysis?
Network analysis or graph analysis can be defined as the study of network structure, relationships, and behavior. It can be useful in different applications such as understanding changing natural phenomena, social network relationships, most efficient routes of transportation, key influencers, and biological system analysis.
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Needless to say, network analysis is a powerful tool to understand the function and structure of a complex network. Some of the reasons why researchers may want to conduct network analysis are:
Study the flow and spread of information through a social network.
Identify key influencers who have the most connections.
Study organizational networks to understand their structure
Detect bottlenecks that affect the performance of a network
Determine user group’s characteristics
Provide followers and friends suggestions on social networks.
Pajex, NodeXL, Gephi, Cytoscape, igraph, and NetworkX are a few tools one can use for network analysis.
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Some of the common features used in network analysis are node and edge attributes, community detection, flow analysis, centrality measures, resilience analysis, dynamic analysis, and predictive analysis.
How does Network Analysis Work?
Although there are several ways to analyze a network, we will look at some basic steps that are followed in network analysis.
Data Collection: The basic step in network analysis involves collecting data about the network. It can include data about nodes and edges along with their additional characteristics and attributes.
Data Preparation: To use the collected data, the next step involves formatting it in a suitable format. Data preparation can include data sorting, data aggregation, and removing data redundancy.
Data Visualization: Complex network data can be quite difficult to interpret. To avoid getting lost in large data sets, data visualization can be of great help. Data visualization consists of visualizing network diagrams, matrix plots, and node-link diagrams that help you understand a network and identify the trends in it.
Statistical Analysis: After data visualization, the next step is to analyze the data statistically by calculating centrality measures and testing correlations.
Interpretation: Once the network data is analyzed, the final step is to interpret the outcome to conclude the given network which helps in testing hypotheses, research questions, and making predictions.
Benefits of Network Analysis
A few benefits that businesses can gain from network analysis are:
Instead of relying on word-of-mouth which is often unreliable, businesses can use network analysis to predict upcoming trends. This helps organizations to achieve transformation in the intended direction while increasing the chances to achieve their business goals.
Increasing Operational Efficiency
Network analysis can offer valuable insights on a given network that helps organizations in establishing organizational design and structures in a way that improves the work efficiency of the employees.
Conducting network analysis can provide details into the work performed under a job role as well as the cost of resources.
This helps organizations in gaining new, informed perspectives on their functions and activities including details on individual contributors to different departments, giving clarity on different business functions.
Better Role Definition
Network analysis helps businesses with valuable information on where the work starts, stands, and stops. It allows organizations to easily indulge the right people into the workflow to improve the current and future state of the organization. By identifying role redundancy in a network, network analysis enables organizations to free up talent to do more value-added work.
With network analysis, you get the ability to comprehend the connection between different network nodes by easily analyzing and visualizing large and complex networks.
Risk Management and Resilience
Network analysis allows you to access network vulnerabilities that can lead to disruptions, failures, or cyber threats. It allows you to detect critical nodes and design resilient and quickly recovering systems accordingly to avoid any disruption.
Undoubtedly, network analysis is a powerful method for a business to get informational insights, detect patterns, improve operational efficiency, and more. It also helps in using available talent to the best of their ability while minimizing role redundancy to accelerate organizational transformation.
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So, that was all about network analysis and we hope that you found the article informational. If you too want to take advantage of network analysis in your organization, then get in touch with our experts who will provide you with the best solutions according to your requirements under your budget while improving your business performance and ROI.
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If you have other tools, technologies, or frameworks in mind that you want to know about, then don’t hesitate to drop your message to us.
FAQs: What is Network Analysis
What is Network Analysis?
Network analysis or graph analysis can be defined as the study of network structure, relationships, and behavior
What are the types of network analysis?
Network analysis can be divided into social networks, biological networks, technological networks, transportation networks, and geographical networks.
How does network analysis help a business?
With network analysis, businesses can gain insights into the structure, detect patterns, predict information flow, and improve overall performance.