Chris Jefferies

Occasional ongoing jive…

Monthly Archives: May 2005

Finding Patterns in Corporate Chatter

  Email traffic – showing the patterns of email at Enron (click image)

  Email keywords – showing what subjects were discussed at Enron (click image)

My co-worker, Terence, found this article in the New York Times about a statistical analysis of email traffic at Enron during the time the company was collapsing.  One shows who was talking to whom and another shows, via common key words, what subjects were being discussed.

For example, the first chart shows the linkages between employees based on their email traffic.  In this chart it shows how a new person pops up, who is a focus of a high number of emails, who’s email address has changed.  Investigators can use this kind of analysis to find relationships among employees.

In the HR world, the business I’m involved in, there have been discussions of using this kind of email analysis to understand the relationships among employees.  While employees are normally organized around formal, hierarchical departments, it may be possible to understand the informal relationships within an organization and find ways to support naturally occurring collaborative groups.

With this kind of data, it would be interesting to combine this analytical approach with the TouchGraph interactive charts.  See other references on this blog at:


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