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Analyzing Ideas

Summary

When capturing ideas, it can seem overwhelming to root through them, select the best ideas, and assess emerging trends in your collective idea bank. This best practice offers guidance in analyzing ideas using multiple lenses. 

Analyzing Ideas: Tag Clouds and User Votes

When you’ve captured endless volumes of ideas around certain categories or topics, it can become a challenge to make sense of it all. There are a number of techniques that can be used to analyze a list of ideas for maximum value.

The simplest techniques involve emerging technology. For example a common tool in social technology is the Tag Cloud. If you assign keywords to an idea, the Tag Cloud will show a list of keywords, with the words generating the most ideas and votes appearing larger. The larger the word, the more popular it is.

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     Example of a Tag Cloud

Another technology-based tool is online promotion of ideas, made popular by the website Digg, in which the most popular news items are “voted to the top” by users of the site. People can simply click on a news item to indicate that it interests them. The more people that click on an item, the higher it appears on the list. The same concept can be applied to ideas, with collective voting to promote the most popular ideas to the top.

In essence, Tag Clouds and user votes can help us leverage collective intelligence and assess the most popular ideas—the ones that people collectively feel will make a difference. And by filtering on certain topics or categories, we can see the best ideas for any specific category. 

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