The ASX directors network – far fewer than six degrees of separation

Our political and business worlds form an intricate web of connections. Companies donate to political parties. Companies get business from the government. Politicians own shares in companies. Companies lobby the Government and give gifts. And companies are connected to other companies through their boards of directors.

It’s that last link we’ve been looking at recently – how do companies boards interlink?

It’s taken a bit of digging to pull the information together into a useable form even though we’re only looking at ASX-listed companies. The work comes with the big caveat that we are using directors’ names to generate the links – not only is there not yet a publicly available unique identifier for each director but different companies give the same director’s name in different ways. Our algorithms are making a huge effort to accurately disambiguate and link but there’s the possibility of getting two people with common names mistaken for each other.

So what we end up with is the capacity to search for a company and see which other companies link to them through their board. You can then further expand the network – until it becomes too complex to work with or your computer decides to scream and give up on the effort.

Network of connections from BHP

You can try the ASX Network Gadget our for yourself here.

We’ve also updated our general company information summary gadget to include the ASX info.

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