In early 2008, Jonas Löwgren of Medea worked with IKEA IT to design the Pinpoint visualization. Briefly, it was intended to help knowledge workers in large organizations find answers to specific questions and to grow their professional networks, by presenting possibly unknown colleagues with interests and competencies similar to your own.
The key idea behind Pinpoint was to create the visualization by mining existing data within the corporate firewall, without requiring users to provide Pinpoint-specific profiles or extraneous data. More about the project, including a testable demo, a movie and an academic publication reference, is found here.
Now it seems that the business world is starting to look closely into the invisible structures of the corporate organism. In an article in CIO Sweden (in Swedish, unfortunately), Henrik Rådmark refers to a recent Gartner report emphasizing what they call pattern-based strategies where companies need to be sensitive to trends and small variations in the markets and the business landscapes. These trends are most clearly visible in the social networks.
And this is where the connection to Pinpoint comes in. According to the CIO Sweden article, a key element of such strategies is to grasp the informal networks within companies and the professional knowledge-in-use that lives in low-level collaborative action rather than in general policy documents. This is more or less exactly what Pinpoint makes visible, for the individual employee as well as for strategists on management levels.
From this perspective, the Pinpoint visualization can be understood as a collaborative medium that supports sociality and joint action.