Awareness Networks

An awareness network, also referred to as organizational knowledge mapping, can map how well individuals understand each other’s skills and expertise.

Analyzes can assess the overall understanding of knowledge and capabilities across the network, and whether there are cases where an improved understanding of available expertise would be beneficial. An awareness network analysis is also useful during the process of integrating new hires, to ensure that the skills and expertise of both new hires and those in the existing network are understood.

Business Insights

The network below was created to measure the awareness of expertise between two separate research departments. The graphic displays awareness of skills within departments with black edges and awareness of skills outside of departments with pink edges. Nodes are colored by department and sized proportionally by tenure.


The first thing we notice is that LD, located in the top left hand corner, is an isolate. No one in the network understands his skills or expertise. LD is a relative new hire and has only spent one year with the organization. In contrast, new hires KJ and BE on Research Team B are well understood by other members of their department and externally. LD’s isolated position in the network may be a result of the nature of his task work or the management style in his department, and it may be necessary to gather further information to solve the problem.

The graphic clearly illustrates that there is a good understanding of skills and expertise within departments. It is also clear that the departments do not share a good understanding of each other’s knowledge and capabilities. If OQ were removed from the network the awareness of expertise across research departments would be reduced dramatically.

A manager viewing this data can draw conclusions about whether or not these patterns are aligned with what is expected or desirable in a given situation.

How to further interpret the network:

  • This network is based on the survey question, “I understand this colleague’s skills and expertise.”
  • Edges exist between nodes if respondents answered “Strongly agree” or “Agree.”
  • Black edges represent internal department awareness and pink edges represent external department awareness.
  • Nodes are sized by tenure.
  • Nodes are colored by department.

Getting started

Network Insights offers an end-to-end solution which will walk you through the initial stages of selecting your focus group, the development of a survey, the collection of network data, and the analysis and visualizations of your network. If you are interested in building a deeper understanding of the awareness of expertise in your organization’s informal networks, please contact us to learn more.