Posts From February, 2010

Analyzing 6 months of Linking Greensboro online Discussions

In response to the question on Linkedin-Linking Greensboro, "Since when did discussions become online classified ads?", I looked at the data to see what emerged using Tableau software (  Clicking on an image will enable you to work with the analysis or download it so you can analyze it further. Be sure that your browser will accept popups to use the interactive features of the reports.

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Serena Simmons, a Linking Greensboro member, posed the question, "Since when did discussions become online classified ads?".  There have been quite a few opinions stated in reply to her question.  I took a different approach, deciding to actually look at the data to see what emerged.  An assumed fact of the question is that discussions topics have over time transformed themselves from something into a preponderance of personal promotion.  The group recently adopted posting guidelines to align itself with its stated purpose, "Linking Greensboro NC is a networking group of professionals in the Greensboro Triad area that are interested in growing personally and professionally through networking on Linkedin."  Those guidelines include a provision to not post discussions dealing with "Advertising your website or services" or those that are "Announcing that you are looking for a job".   I reviewed the 285 discussion posts during this period and categorized them into 4 groups:

  1. Self Promotion
  2. Non-Profit Announcements / Events
  3. Group Organization
  4. All Other (Insights and Musings, Non-commercial News, Requests for Assistance, Seeking a Job/Employee)

I've published the results in a series of 4 visualizations using Tableau Public, a very powerful software product that in February, 2010 made it possible to create and share analysis using a free version of their software.  While you don't have to have their software to view the analysis, you can get a free version for you to create your own analysis of the data below. 

You will notice that I have categorized many discussions as "Self Promotion", and you may disagree with my assessment.  Some self promotion could be characterized as 'classified ads', while some inform others on an issue by way of exposing their own expertise in a subject.  This post could be considered in the latter.  My company's expertise is in introducing the power of visualizations to the underserved and overworked analyst that either has another unweildy BI tool or goes through major hoops using the hammer of choice, Excel.

If you are impressed with the product, give me credit for introducing you to it by registering at

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