Box is an online file sharing and cloud content management service offering unlimited storage, custom branding, and administrative controls. Founded in 2005, Box powers more than 71,000 businesses globally, including AstraZeneca, General Electric, P&G, and The GAP.
Box showed their customers what collaboration looks like on their file sharing platform with a 3D network graph by Kineviz
For their annual customer conference, Box wanted to showcase the collaboration enabled by their file sharing platform in a way that would deliver insight to CIOs and civilians alike. Kineviz responded with a visualization that informed and inspired attendees by bringing Box’s data into 3D.
Collaboration is a cornerstone of Box’s value proposition, but it is a difficult concept to illustrate or quantify. To reveal the hidden structure of enterprise collaboration, Box had to go beyond the capabilities of existing data visualization tools. Their goals:
- Illustrate the force multiplying effect that Box’s file sharing platform brings to enterprise teams
- Offer fresh insight to C-suite personnel about their own companies
- Engage event attendees with a visualization that’s easy to understand and enjoyable to watch
To reveal the shape of collaboration, Kineviz created a network graph representing users as nodes and files sharing connections as edges. Three years of time series data from seven Box clients in different industries would appear overwhelmingly dense in a traditional 2D graph. Instead, Kineviz applied a physics simulation that distributed the nodes of the network in 3D space.
Immediately, the contrast in different industries’ collaboration patterns—one-to-many in finance, many-to-many in software development, split into multiple sub-groups in healthcare—became readily visible. The network graph was displayed on a large screen connected to a Microsoft Kinect, enabling users to fly through the network graph and zero in on influential users and interesting patterns.
The Collab Graph, as it came to be known, drew large crowds and media attention at BoxWorks. It also proved so successful in demonstrating Box’s value to C-suite attendees that Box’s CIO adopted it as a standard part of his pitch. A version was also commissioned for internal use by Box’s sales and Customer Success Team.