Organizational network analysis (ONA) tools come in different shapes and sizes. Ask your vendor about these features. They will help you make a better choice when purchasing ONA software for your business.

Do-it-yourself version?

Whether you are a consultant, business manager, or analyst, you probably want to perform data collection and network analysis using a tool with a friendly user interface which lets you enjoy a standardized step-by-step approach through the tool. Ideally, it also provides simple instructions and a comprehensive library with support and training documentation. More advanced ONA tools are cloud-based, with the software as a service which can be easily accessed anytime from any computer or device without required downloads or installations. They tend to have high adoption rates with lower learning curves and initial costs, painless upgrades, and secure data storage capacity.

Confidential, ethical & efficient survey process?

Choose ONA software which employees will be able to use quickly and easily. The survey on work relationships must contain positively worded questions and be quick to complete thanks to auto-search drop-down lists. Select one with multiple languages so employees fully understand the meaning of the questions asked in their native language. Save time with a tool which provides fast uploading of respondents’ data and a built-in quality check for errors to ensure the right employees receive the appropriate invitations and information about the analysis. It goes without saying that the survey should be anonymous and a privacy policy should be included to guarantee the integrity and confidentiality of employee data.

Scalable to any company size?

Size matters! The larger the organization, the harder it is to precisely understand its workings. Therefore, the ONA tool needs to be able to handle large amounts of data, even up to 30,000 respondents at a global level. It should also accommodate your whole organization – every employee, hierarchy level, location, business unit, should be included.

Actionable results provided?

Powerful visualizations typically drive ONA tools, but are these attractive network visuals simple enough for anyone to understand and, better yet, easy to use? It is all about actionable results that count! You do not need to be an expert in statistics to use ONA. The tool should do the analysis for you, using a built-in proven methodology and algorithms. Look for a tool that generates an automated report which provides actionable insights, preferably with a narrative guide explaining the concepts behind ONA to ensure results are well-interpreted and understood. If the tool has an interactive interface with drill-downs to locations and business areas, you can search for additional views and insights relevant to your company. This way you can just concentrate on interpreting the results and designing appropriate interventions to benefit your company.

In conclusion, ONA tools have evolved through new software development, methodological refinement, and rigorous organizational-driven testing into a feature-rich, mature and sophisticated solution which helps improve organizations and communities around the world.