Understanding the Relationship Between sumApp and Kumu

Understanding the Relationship Between sumApp and Kumu

Kumu is an online platform that visualizes data in network graph format.  A personal account is free. Each account can have unlimited 'projects'. Projects that are indexed and viewable by the public are free. Private projects cost roughly $10/month. Private essentially means that the project isn't indexed anywhere, and the only people who can access it are given access via their Kumu account. You can share your private project with any number of Kumu users, w/o incurring extra cost - it's still just $10.

But, what's a network graph, you ask? A network graph is any representation of information that uses the form of dots and lines. The 'dots' can be circles, squares, any other basic shape, or simply a few words. It's a thing on a canvas. The lines are usually represented simply as lines (tho sometimes dashed or dotted, sometimes fat or thin) and they never exist in a vacuum - a network graph would never just show a bunch of lines. The lines always connect the dots - they represent some kind of relationship between one dot and another. Relationships are the whole point of a network graph. This kind of representation is inherently about connections, about relationships, about things that are never stand-alone, separate items - it's inherently about context and system. That's what's cool about a network graph - they teach us to see and think less in terms of what's-its and more in terms of what's-between-its.

There are other online network graph tools but Kumu is our favorite tool - because of it's beauty, it's interactivity, it's flexibility, and it's accessibility.

But great as Kumu is, it won't collect your data for you.

Which isn't a problem if you're graphing things about which you have sources of known data. But real relationship data about people - that can be hard to come by. It's relatively easy to get information from people about themselves. But if you want to understand the connections between people or organizations - you have to ask them, and you have to ask them using an interface that makes that kind of asking easy, and using a tool that structures the data gathered in a way that works the way a network graph visualization requires (which normal surveys are terrible at).

So that's what sumApp does. It helps you gather the data for a person-to-person/organization-to-organization/person-to-organization network graph - directly from the persons or organizational representatives themselves. It then feeds the data directly into Kumu so that you don't have to even look at it, let alone clean it up & move things around. It's even live so that when a person updates their info in sumApp, that info shows up in Kumu within minutes. It's so seamless that it's easy to think the two platforms (sumApp & Kumu) are one.

So - sumApp gathers social system data. Kumu visualizes it.

If your curious, read more about  why we built sumApp.

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