As a part of my course Web and Social Media Analytics under Dr. Sudha Ram (http://vishnu.eller.arizona.edu/ram/), I came to know about a free tool Gephi which is very helpful in analyzing a social network data through which we can find out various implications.
Gephi is a powerful social network modeling tool which is available free and you can download it from http://gephi.org/ . One of the most important advantage of this tool as a network analyzer is its simplicity to use. It does not require any special skills to operate. You just need to import your social network data into it and apply some easy algorithm to it. You will get a connected network with various clustering which can be visualized and analyzed in order to get some important business implications.
This picture shows a network of a Facebook data given to us by Dr. Sudha Ram in Gephi. This data is divided into four clusters according to some relationship which we can find out after analyzing each cluster individually. It is a very simple network with only 62 nodes and 1174 edges. But Gephi can very well analyze a network with 50,000 nodes and about 1 million edges.
In today’s world social media is a very powerful place of promoting one’s brand or product. Almost every brand is present in a social media mainly in Facebook and Twitter. Because these social sites have a very large number of subscribed users there is a need to analyze a brand performance present on social media. Through Gephi one can analyze its connections in social media and can easily find out a business implication like whom to target, how to position etc. based on the clusters formed out of Gephi.
One of the most important marketing implications of Gephi network visualization is Targeting. You can easily find out the demographic of peoples or clusters and then can decide about targeting and positioning of their brand.
As a Marketing student I am very much impressed with Gephi and its simplicity to use. It is very much recommended for a student majoring in marketing and analytics to get familiar with GEPHI.