How to Explore Network Demographics

How to Explore Network Demographics

Your network is made of diverse members, representing a variety of sectors, focus areas, and communities. Using member attributes to color nodes can help identify subnetworks and subgroups organized around subtopics, as well as understand the breadth of your network members. This is a great way to demonstrate your collaboration to stakeholders while identifying gaps and areas for improvement.

Some different demographics to consider:
  1. SectorPartners can come from the non-profit, private, or public sector. Each brings their own unique benefits and challenges.
  2. Focus AreaOrganizations tackle a variety of community and social issues, ranging from healthcare and homelessness to education and the environment. 
  3. Geographic Area: Entities often represent a specific neighborhood, city, or other geographic area, both formal and informal.
  4. Target Population: Network members often target different populations, like young children and families, people experiencing homelessness, or the HIV community.
  5. Power & Influence: To what extent are you working with a mix of powerful institutions as well as smaller, less influential groups with their own unique value.
With few exceptions, a greater level of diversity in your network leads to more opportunities to discover new resources, ideas, and innovations. While diverse networks may require more time for facilitation and process, the benefits are almost always worth the time and effort.

How to Assess Your Network Demographics with Network Maps

  1. Open the Node Filters on the left (click the node icon).
  2. Under “Color By,” click the dropdown menu and select ‘sector.'
  3. Use the controls on the right to take an image of the network map.
  4. Repeat the process with other attributes, including Focus Area and other custom attributes.
  5. Once done, open the maps you saved and review them individually.
Click each line color on the legend to the right to filter nodes by attribute.

How to Assess Your Network Demographics with Charts

You can also assess your demographics using the Analyzer's Chart feature.
  1. While in the Network Analyzer, click "Charts & Tables" at the top right, under the Data Capture Navigation Menu.
  2. Select either "Bar," "Column," or "Donut" Graph depending on your needs.
  3. Under "Show Results Based On" select "Attribute"
  4. Underneath, select the attribute to visualize.
  5. Click the "Save" button at the top right and give the chart a name.
  6. Repeat the process for any other attributes of interest.
These maps and charts are great assets to include in grant proposals or reports for stakeholders to demonstrate your commitment to collaboration with a broad array of community partners. You can also use them over time to track your progress and see if you are filling gaps in representation across your network.

Next, we'll show you how to analyze trust and value across your community partner relationships.

Next Article: How to Analyze Trust and Value

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