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Mapping good ideas

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With an increasing amount of data being added to communities, be they internal or external, being able to map and understand that data, and more importantly draw trends from it to aid your innovation is of pressing importance to companies.

For instance, what if you could easily tell visually who people are most connected to within your enterprise?  How would that influence the way you structure and organise your teams?  What if you could tell the most pressing topics that are being discussed, and how those topics interact with each other?  Would that influence the direction of your products and services?

Such data mining is far from unusual, especially in the social sphere, with projects to predict the spread of flu or even the rise and fall of stock prices based on little more than social media mentions.

The following is a TED talk delivered by Eric Berlow and Sean Gourley on their project to map the topics covered in TED talks.  They mine their data from the public and meta information available via YouTube to produce a nice visual map of both the TED landscape, and how the talks link together.

What would a map of your corporate ideas look like?  How many would emerge internally vs externally?  How can you ensure that the key innovators are connected together?

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