Inspiration

Our company is growing fast and it is increasingly difficult to know everyone's names, so we want a tool to help practice and remember them. We also recognize that software systems grow to mirror the communication structure of an organization (Conway's Law). In order to empower individuals to develop more sustainable products and organizations, we need insight into the informal communication structures within a company.

How it works

  1. Using a mobile website, employees view colleagues' photos and a question such as "What's my name?" or "What's my department?
  2. With their correct and incorrect answers we can accurately weigh the strength of the relationship between the employee and the colleague.
  3. We then aggregate these relationship strengths in a graph visualization that highlights silos, connected individuals, and the overall communication health of the organization.
  4. When employees are isolated from one another, the organization can quickly take action to better integrate their colleagues into their respective teams.

Challenges I ran into

Inter-company relationships is a challenging system to model with traditional relational datastores. We quickly realized we needed a specialized tool and chose the graph database neo4j. Learning how to model and query the system in neo4j was our biggest challenge and a lot of fun.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

Diving into a new database and using it to share meaningful insights into inter-company communication for organizations.

What I learned

Graph modeling, responsive design for mobile sites, and UI design.

What's next for HooYu

The first step is monitoring the communication with companies. After we have measurement data, we can track communication health over time and look for trends across industries, company size, etc. to share with our users.

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