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NodeXL – steps for data analysis

NodeXL is an effort to bring network analysis tools to a larger audience by leveraging the power of a spreadsheet to make common data import and manipulation tasks easier.

NodeXL Dynamic Filtered Views of the Graph
NodeXL Dynamic Filtered Views of the Graph

Most data analysis tasks with NodeXL follow a common set of steps:

  • Import
  • Merge duplicate edges (if appropriate)
  • Calculate (some or all) network metrics
  • Create clusters
  • Insert sub-graph images
  • Sort edge list in a way that usefully effects the order of layout in the graph display
  • Auto-fill columns (and map data to display attributes): Set shape, color, opacity, size, and label/tooltip
  • Show graph
  • Read workbook
  • Adjust layout
  • Dynamic Filters – selectively hide edges and nodes
    • may involve “trimming” parts of the network and then recalculating network metrics and layout
  • Layout Again
  • Return to spreadsheet to sort or calculate data
  • Integrate additional edge lists

Did I miss any steps that you use?  There are multiple analytic goals for network data sets that guide what happens next.

What are your goals for network analysis?

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