Wondering about TIGs’ relationships

by Nov 24, 2016

I’m always glad when the American Evaluation Association (AEA) asks me to help them visualize (=use Data Visualization to analyze, understand, communicate) something. The first time was in 2014 when Beverly Parsons asked me to remake the AEA’s organizational chart or mapping with all the internal groups and committees and external stakeholders. Later she asked me to make some (visual) sense of the more than 50 TIGs (Topical Interest Groups) the association members create and organize themselves around in order to gather and work around different areas (see former post here).

This last time, it was Denise Roosendal (AEA’s Executive Director) who was trying to make sense of how members enroll into different TIGs and wondering if there were some insightfull patterns a relevant number of members follow. The data they provided was an spreadsheet with list of emails of all the members in one column and the TIG/s each member was enrolled in.


I quickly called my friend Pablo Vidueira & team in to help me make sense of the data and analyze it. They worked on it and provided me with a correlation matrix with the number of common members between every pair of TIGs. They processed that matrix into a final ranking of the pairs of TIGs that shared the highest number of common members.


And that is what I used to visualize. I did some manual Social Network mapping, using again bubbles to represent each TIG (size proportional to number of  members and colors corresponding the initial categories). Then I linked them with lines representing the number of common members. Interestingly enough, the two TIGs that shared the highest number of members (304) were Qualitative Methods and Quantitative Methods (!). And we found some other patterns, that are represented here:

This visual was presented during the TIG leaders’ meeting during the AEA’s recent conference in Atlanta. And we will continue working with it to better understand our social network through the TIGs. 🙂

You want to see more Visuals?