MS Excel SNA?

Every year, Microsoft holds a Research Faculty Summit, to highlight the work being done in MS Research. This year, Marc Smith presented an add-in for MS Excel (2007*) that allows users to generate and manipulate social networks within more familiar environs.

I've always wondered why Excel lacked the capacity to display networks - seems like a no-brainer for Microsoft. Granted, SNA is far more complicated than it might appear at first blush, but with the growing availability of such data, I suspect more and more social scientists will learn how to use these tools.

Adding SNA capability to the most common desktop software in the world should speed things up a bit.

*Unfortunately, it doesn't appear to work with earlier versions of MS Excel (another "feature" of Office 2007).

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