socialytics big dataWhen an idea goes viral, it becomes a meme, and when two memes are associated for long enough to be part of a trend, a portmanteau is created. Webster's defines it as “a word or morpheme whose form and meaning are derived from a blending of two or more distinct forms (as smog from smoke and fog).” Thus, “socialytics.”

Deloitte’s John Hagel introduces this term in an article titled Helping Make the Invisible Visible with Socialytics. He’s describing “the integration of social software and big data analytics to create insight from unstructured information.”

We all try to make sense – especially business sense – from social interaction, relationships, interests, demographics and location; there’s plenty of data to be run through whatever data management mills are being invented, but until recently that social data provided only a foggy picture of the business value that most CEOs and managers require.

In his article Hagel describes a study Deloitte performed on a business with 6,000 employees in Australia. Looking at social patterns, the company assumed that teams that were highly integrated and connected internally (“insulated”) would perform best. But after applying socialytics, they found that the highest performing teams “were very highly integrated outside of the team as well. In other words, high performing teams had a high number of connections beyond the team.”

Socialaytics, Hagel says, “systematically track what kinds of interactions lead to high performance and what kinds don’t.” That’s valuable stuff and is just one example of how we’re learning to better analyze relationships and human interactivity. Hagel’s interpretation of these findings also recommend greater engagement and knowledge sharing, establishing relationships that enhance overall performance in the company.

“Success can increasingly depend upon our availability to participate effectively in a diverse set of knowledge flows. By participating fully and socially and applying socialytics to create connected outcomes, we have the opportunity reimagine relationships and make the invisible visible.”