My research at Lithium focuses on a couple of key areas. First, since a community is all about the people, the first area of research focuses on understanding user behaviors. The goal of this research is to understand the complex interplay between different groups of users through social network analysis (see figure below) and discover the dynamics that drives a healthy and successful community.
I was a computational neuroscientist (my bio is here). So what got me interested in social analytics? Honestly, it's all about the data! As a SaaS company, Lithium has recorded a huge data set over the 10 years of its business operation. The data at Lithium is very rich and diverse. Besides the 200+ metrics that Lithium records, there are also loads of conversation data between real people. This is what got me excited about social analytics.
You may ask why I didn't go to some place like Google or Facebook then? Certainly they have also collected a lot of social network data, probably a lot more than Lithium if we are talking about sheer storage volume. But as a statistician, we care about sample size. Facebook may have the biggest social network of 300 millions users, but it is only one network. Lithium has hundreds and the number is growing!
Hello everyone. I'm Michael, the principal scientist working on analytics at Lithium. With most scientific endeavors, the principal investigator is only one member of the team, and analytics at Lithium is no exception. By the way, Lithium has the witty culture of naming our development teams after superheroes. So can you guess what the analytics team is called? Hint... there is a recent movie about this group. You guessed it: the X-Men!
We chose this name because the variable X is commonly used to represent an unknown quantity. Also, X has a visual resemblance to the Greek letter chi (χ), which is what I used as the symbol for the Community Health Index (CHI).