The future of Social Graph Analytics will be BIG

On Sunday mornings I generally try to grab some quiet time so I can catch up on interesting articles I may have missed during the week. Occasionally I read something that provokes a blog post. This is one of those days and since it’s absolutely miserable out there (the Irish equivalent of a monsoon) I figured I might as well put pen to paper now. The article in question is an InfoWorld post from James Kobelius (@jameskobielus) entitled Graph analysis will make big data even bigger. It’s a nice succinct article that talks to the potential value of social graph analytics and also the challenges of storing and analyzing these massive graphs.

Over the last while there have been lots of discussion about the over-hype of big data and the fact that small data is often enough and while I would agree that this is often the case, the graph is one of those areas where small data gets very large very quickly. This is most especially the case if you believe, as I do, that the Social Graph is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to doing people-centric analysis.

Today when folks think about social graphs they tend to think about direct interactions between people within a social network. However, when you think about analytics these social interactions are only a small part of the picture and what you really need is the ability to integrate the social graph, knowledge graph, business graph (derived from analyzing business activity), and ultimately the web of data.

For example; if we take a very simple marketing scenario “how do I know who to target with certain marketing messages”, then just imagine if you knew:

  • which people were interested in your product (social graph).
  • which were already customers (business graph).
  • which would likely have the most use for your product (knowledge graph).
  • the optimal channel, time, location, device, and application through which to share the message (web of data).

I’ve been struggling in my own work to come up with a definition that adequately describes the hybrid nature of this new graph. Some clients like to call it “the business network”, while others prefer to stay with “the social network” moniker. Whatever we end up calling the graphs just remember that the value of social is only truly realized (at least for analytics) when it gets integrated with non-social data.

6 Comments to “The future of Social Graph Analytics will be BIG”

  1. Nice article Marie. You may want to check out some of my posts & infographics on Graph Marketing:

    Graph Marketing Data Generated Every Minute:

    Graph Marketing Defined:

    Graph Relevance: The Rise of Graphs in Marketing:

    Leading Graph Platforms (Infographic):

    Graph Marketing: 4 Recommendations for Today’s CMO:

    Also, I would like to personally invite you to join our Google + Community on Graph Marketing:

    You are also invited to subscribe to Graph Marketing Week:

    I would love to speak with you more about this topic if you are interested.


    Jeremi – CEO beehaus


  2. This is a really great and insightful post. At we are hosting a special webinar on the topic of Social Graphs in HR. We’d love to educate you and your readers on some of the many insights to be gained through the deployment and assessment of Social Graphing tools.


    • Thanks Andrew. It’s great to see that the HCI organization are starting to get excited about the Social Graph. I firmly believe that social does present a wonderful opportunity for the HR community.


  3. One of the cool things I’ve been reading about Social in HCM is that its greatest impact will be on organizational culture. There are those that believe the future of social in HR will be so pervasive that the term “Social” will fade away due its pervasiveness within the enterprise.


  4. Yes, in much the same way that analytics will become increasingly pervasive and integral to the business so will social, And in time both those terms will become synonymous with business and not something that has to be explicitly called out.


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