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