Social Intelligence and Social Network Analysis


Two of the most significant advances in the 20th century have been the invention of the computer and the growth and development of networked systems. These two have transformed the way in which society interacts and in the last two decades, there has been a remarkable rise in the application of computers and the internet. Since the invention of computers and the development of computer-based information systems, there has been a need to keep tailor-making computer systems to best satisfy the need of the users. This need has been necessitated by the huge amount of information that is available through the internet. One of the designs which have been developed to assist is Social Intelligence design. Social intelligence (SI) shapes the social interactions that we each encounter every day in the life. It is based on the understanding that people respond socially to computers and as such, computers which have SI and communicative abilities will be able to better fulfill their roles. This paper will discuss the relevance of SI in systems. The paper will pay special attention to the main component of SI which is Social Network Analysis.

Social Intelligence

Computer networks have a kind of intellectual existence and this forms the basis of Social Intelligence. SI includes an individual’s ability to manage relationships with others and act wisely in a given social situation. Communities can solve various problems that are bound to arise. The design of SI enables channels of information to be arranged to facilitate knowledge creation by communities and their members.

The expansion of information and communication technologies has significantly increased the amount of information available through the internet. This information may overload or overwhelm a person due to its sheer amount. On the other hand, the information may lead to better support of daily life. Information and knowledge need to be circulated so that the demands for information can be better communicated to users and knowledge transmitted to the parties who need it. SI proposes to do this by bringing about better coverage. It enables us to understand linked intelligence, competitive intelligence, and even the level of complexity that exists in a network.

Social Networks

The main component in SI is the social network which is like a map of all the relationships that an individual has with other entities. Social networks comprise nodes which are the various users and ties which are the connections between or among the users. An analysis of these links helps us to understand the nature of interactions among people.

Social Network Analysis

Being an interdisciplinary area, social intelligence is made up of various components the core of which is Social Network Analysis (SNA). Social network analysis entails carrying out statistical analysis of links to understand the interactions that occur among groups of people. SNA uses visual and statistical tools to evaluate the nature of connections in the social network. This analysis evaluates the structure and nature of the system and leads to competitive intelligence being extracted. Through SI, SNSs exhibit the ability to remember and learn from social interactions with others and thus build relationships. By use of Statistical analysis, the nature of interaction among people can be deduced and third-party relationships inferred.

Most social abilities are unconscious, and some details remain hidden from our awareness. Through SNA, hidden organizational structures can be discovered. In addition to this, the behavior of certain actors can be explained by the use of network models that are developed as a result of the analysis. The strategic positioning of each individual can be highlighted by the use of information extracted from the analysis.

Centrality measures are one of the SNA methods. These measure looks at several attributes when analyzing a network. The first centrality measure is the Degree of Centrality which is categorized as the number of ties that are connected to an individual actor. Next is closeness centrality which is the space between an actor and the other actors in the network. The final measure is Betweenness which is the position of the actor concerning the others.

Social Networking

Social networking tools have become very popular and Social Networking Sites (SNS) attract millions of users from all over the world. The most popular SNSs to date are Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Myspace. Various classifications of social networks exist including collaborative, non-collaborative, enterprise, and personal. The importance of networks is significant since they enable people to share professional and personal views on all subjects.

The popularity of SNSs has been caused by several significant reasons. To begin with, SNSs are relatively inexpensive, and their friendly user interface makes them easy to use. They, therefore, allow people to connect with friends or with others who share the same interests as they do. SNSs also allow businesses to advertise cheaply and connect better with their customers and with other associated businesses. Finally, social networks are easy to expand, and hence their growth is easy.

There are various features of SNSs that make them more useful to users. SNSs have profiles that contain the information that the users want to make viewable to the public or a closed group of people. Security features are included in the sites to enable people to protect their information as well as limit who has access to the information. SNSs have search functions that enable people to find old friends or people who share similar interests. SNSs have been credited with enhancing the social lives of many people. These sites have led to people who would otherwise find it hard to make friends having the opportunity to meet and befriend new people, therefore, widening their circle of friends. Help Support is also available to assist users who may be having difficulties operating in the SNS.

Another form of social network is the Enterprise network which may either be an employee network or a client network. An employee network is a closed group whose access is restricted to the employees of a certain enterprise. The client network helps in marketing and improves the business relationship between the organization and its clientele.


This paper set out to discuss the relevance of Social Intelligence in systems with particular attention being paid to Social Intelligence, Social Network Analysis. Computer systems are invaluable to human beings and they assist in many activities. Embedding SI in the computer makes them even more useful to people since there is a relationship between the development of SI and that of the community. SI is important in social networks since the objects which are contained in networks should be designed such that they get along well with each other.


Lecture Note. (2011) Social Intelligence: A Business Analytics Perspective.