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New: NodeXL Pro “Import From File” data importer

Unlock the Full Potential of Your Social Media Archives with NodeXL’s “Import from File” data importer

We are excited to introduce the latest addition to NodeXL’s powerful suite of tools – the “Import from File” feature. This new feature enables users to seamlessly create network datasets from standard .xlsx and .csv files. Whether you’re a seasoned analyst or new to network analysis, this feature streamlines the process of importing data, making it easier than ever to visualize and analyze your networks.

Social media messages, whether posts, comments, replies, or other formats, are frequently archived in simple text files. These archives typically follow a straightforward structure:

  • author name
  • message text
  • date/time

While this format is excellent for storage and initial collection, it lacks the structure needed for comprehensive network analysis. To transform this raw data into a useful network format, we must extract connections between users, creating a data file with at least two essential columns:

  • Sender (Vertex 1)
  • Receiver (Vertex 2)

The NodeXL Pro Import From File importer allows users to create and customize these network edges with the “Build an edge between” feature. E.g. we can create an edge with the relationship “Mentions” from the Name/Author (Vertex 1) column to any mentioned user (Vertex 2) in the text/message column.

Often, additional columns enrich these datasets, providing context such as

  • date and time
  • language
  • attached media file

as well as user account details like the

  • profile creation date
  • self-description
  • location
  • message count, follower count

This metadata can be assigned either to the Edges or the Vertices worksheets during the import for additional levels of analysis.

How It Works:

  1. Select Your File: Choose the .xlsx or .csv file you wish to import.
  2. Configure Import Settings: Specify the columns and parameters for your network dataset.
  3. Import Data: Click ‘Import’ to seamlessly load your data into NodeXL.
  4. Visualize and Analyze: Instantly create network visualizations and begin your analysis using NodeXL’s advanced features.

Scroll down to learn how to use this data importer in detail.

Quick Start Guide: How to Import From File

The NodeXL Pro Import From File Data Importer was released with NodeXL Pro Version (2024-04-04).

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Besides a NodeXL Pro user license, the only requirement is bringing a table in Excel or csv format that contains network relevant data.

Getting started:

To open the NodeXL Pro Import From File data importer select NodeXL Pro > Data > Import > … From File:


    1. Select your Excel file via the Browse… button.
    2. Click Read File(s).
    3. Customize the data table.
    4. Check-mark columns from your file to either be imported as Edge columns, Vertex columns or both.
    5. Construct network edges within the “Build an edge between” section. E.g. can create an edge with the relationship “Mentions” from the Name/Author (Vertex 1) column to any mentioned user (Vertex 2) in the text/message column with “@” used as identifier. You find more details about potential edge relationships below.
    6. Define the Edge Relationship types and “Add” them to the table on the right. Repeat this step for each edge relationship you have defined.
    7. Optionally save your configurations via “Save Config” or load a configuration file via “Load Config” (file type: .NodeXLImporter). Scroll down to download a config file optimized for X/Twitter data.
    8. Click OK to start the data import. This process may take a few minutes depending on the table size.

Edge creation:

Below you find a few options on how to create different edge relationships from tweet/post data collected from X (formerly Twitter). We have also designed a config file for you with the below configurations (available here along with NodeXL Pro Data Recipes).

Mentionsauthor/nametextEach word that starts with @
Replies Toauthor/nametextFirst word that starts with @; Condition: If text starts with @
Retweetauthor/nametextFirst word that starts with @; Condition: If text starts with RT
Quoteauthor/nametextFirst word that starts with @; Condition: If text starts with QT
Tweetauthor/nametextCondition: otherwise


Expert tip:

Learn about Task automation and use one of the the data recipes to generate a network report and map: “Social Network Analysis 03 text.NodeXLOptions”

NodeXL Workbook Overview

Get Started with NodeXL Today!

Whether you’re an academic researcher diving into the intricate world of online interactions or a business aiming to unravel the vast web of social connections relevant to your brand, NodeXL with its diverse importers is your go-to solution. Experience the power of network analysis tailored to your needs.

Feedback and Support: We continuously strive to enhance our tools. Should you have feedback or require assistance, contact our support team.

NodeXL Pro Quick Start Guide

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