Team science, Decision Making, and Diagrams - Ohh My!

Friday, December 26th 2014

this post is a work in progress

Group Concept Mapping

Earlier this year, Sept 4th according to my brain book, Pips was explaining a method for collecting and organizing information from a group with goal of improved decision making.

The process is called Group Concept Mapping. While Pips explained the methodology I was seeing the data gathering step as web application and the flow users and researchers would have with it. I captured this in my brain book (#21). The following is the how I see the users (green) contributing concepts to facilitators. The collecting, rating, and bucketing process is the easy part of this (relatively). The post-processing, analysis, and reporting (the mapping) is where things get more complicated.

Many time since Pips explained this method I’ve found myself wishing I had the tool in hand for projects at work.


I saw this process as a set of steps like this:

Once the user group has finished submissions the resulting entries are available for the admins (facilitators or researchers) to clean up the data:

At this point we’ve got a new dataset that is the scrubbed set of response entries from users. The next phase is to get the scrubbed dataset rated and bucketed. This could be done by the same user group that submitted it or perhaps a newly selected group.

At this point the data collection from users is complete.

The edited, de-duplicated, split, rated, and bucketed dataset is available for the researcher to do Analysis on.

The social research methods has an old, but good, overview of the concept mapping process in this Introduction to Concept Mapping for Planning and Evaluation by William M.K. Trochim. I love the fact they talk about the compute technology needed to do this - check out these quotes:

I think revisiting this in a modern, mobile friendly, web application would provide, at least myself, a handy tool.

Looking around for open source tools around this I find things that are similiar but aren’t quiet what I’d like to see available. There are a variety of commercial and closed source platforms available on a subscription basis.

Brain book #21 sketch entry

team decision making diagram