Animated growth of an organization

December 18, 2012  |  Network Visualization

A company grows, it shrinks, people come and go. Justin Matejka, a research scientist at Autodesk, visualized the changes for where he works.

The OrgOrgChart (Organic Organization Chart) project looks at the evolution of a company's structure over time. A snapshot of the Autodesk organizational hierarchy was taken each day between May 2007 and June 2011, a span of 1498 days.

Each day the entire hierarchy of the company is constructed as a tree with each employee represented by a circle, and a line connecting each employee with his or her manager. Larger circles represent managers with more employees working under them. The tree is then laid out using a force-directed layout algorithm.

Each second in the animation is about one week of activity, and acquisitions are most obvious when big clumps of people join the company. The long-term changes are a little harder to see, because the branches in the network fade into the background. Recomputing the layout each week might be good for the next round.

[Thanks, Justin]

3 Comments

  • Pretty cool. I wish it went further back; when I worked there in the ’90s, it seemed that re-organizations were the company’s favorite sport. Curious if it’s changed qualitatively since then.

  • Richard Hackathorn December 19, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Amazing! Definitely cool, but how can Autodesk executives use this network viz to understand key dynamics of company growth. This feels like the first step toward a useful decision support tool. Need to add time shuffle and zoom/filter interactive controls. Need to add Tableau/QlikView on a second monitor linked to the viz, so for a specific time slice other company variables could be compared. Super start! I never would have imagined the complexity visualized over just 4 years of company history.

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