Monday, October 4, 2010

Analysis of November 08 Conference

As discussed in my previous blog, Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) organizes leadership and networking conferences in May and November every year to share resources and information with organizations involved in tutor/mentor programs and organizations supporting these programs. The main aim of the conferences is to improve the quality of tutor/mentor programs in the poor neighborhoods.
I am trying to map all the conferences starting from May 2008 till the most recent conference i.e May 2010, using social network analysis software to visualize and understand the strength of relationship between T/MC and different organizations attending these conferences each year. As we start mapping all the conferences one by one, we can get an idea about the growth of the T/MC network with participation of new organizations every year, geographical distribution of conference attendees, and strength of the relationship between T/MC and other organizations.
In my previous blog, I had presented an analysis of the May 08 T/MC conference, showing the geographical distribution (local organizations & regional organizations) of organizations attending the conference, the number of tutor/mentor programs and other programs, and the number of speakers and donors for local and regional areas. I have created another set of maps in order to analyze the Nov 08 conference and to compare the May 08 and Nov 08 conferences.

The above map shows a geographical distribution of organizations that attended the Nov 08 conference. As per the map, 95 organizations were present at the conference and these organizations are divided into local and regional organizations. The thickness of the links represents the strength of the relationship between T/MC and those organizations. The strength is directly related to the number of conferences the organization has attended, i.e., organizations that have attended both the May and Nov 08 conferences are given higher link strength than the others. Karina Ayala-Bermejo, Executive Director, Sun Times Judge Marovitz, Lawyers Lend-A-Hand to Youth Program, was the donor for Nov 08 conference. The donor is highlighted in green in the map. (Click on the map above for enlarged view)
The organizations are arranged radially as a function of their distance from T/MC.

Here is another map showing the relative spatial distribution of organizations attending the Nov 08 conference based on their physical proximity to T/MC (on the basis of zipcodes). In this map the organizations that are closer to T/MC on the basis of zipcode are in a darker shade of red, but as we move further away from T/MC the shades become lighter and lighter. Thus, the organizations that are outside Illinois are in white. Another interesting thing about this map is that it arranges the organizations on the basis of centrality. Centrality is considered as a crucial characteristic for network analysis, as it indicates which nodes are more central and which are more peripheral. In this map, the organizations are placed in circular rings on the basis of their degree of closeness to T/MC. The organizations on the ring closest to T/MC have the highest weight and the organizations present on the last ring, which is shown in dotted lines, has the least weight. We have arranged the organizations in the rings based on their distance from T/MC. The following scales are used for the rings:

Distance from T/MC         Weight
  • 0-5 miles                       6
  • 5-10 miles                     5
  • 10-25 miles                   4
  • 25-50 miles                   3
  • Above 50 miles             2
  • Out of state                  1
(Click on the map above for enlarged view)

This map shows the distribution of tutor/mentor programs and programs that support the tutor/mentor programs (represented as “other” in the map) on the basis of their physical proximity to T/MC (centrality layout as discussed above). Here it can be interpreted that majority of tutor/mentor programs that attended the Nov 08 Conf. are within 5 miles or 5-10 miles from T/MC. The map shows that there is almost an equal participation of tutor/mentor programs and non-tutor/mentor programs in the Nov 08 Conference. (Click on the map above for enlarged view)

The above map shows the number of speakers and non-speakers in the Nov 08 Conference. The speakers are highlighted in dark blue and non- speakers are in light blue. Majority of the speakers are from organizations that are within 5-10 miles from T/MC.( Click on the map above for enlarged view)

Finally the last map shows a combination of May 08 and Nov 08 conference. In this map the organizations are divided into three categories: 1) attended May 08 conference 2) attended Nov 08 conference and 3) attended both May 08 & Nov 08 conference. In this map we can see that majority of the local organizations have participated in both the conferences. On the other hand there is less number of repeat participation from regional (outside Chicago) organizations. It can be interpreted from the map that more number of regional organizations were present at May 08 conference as compared to Nov 08 Conference. Thus, it can be concluded that efforts should be made to preserve and increase the growth of attendees and makes sure that there are less number of dropouts. 

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