Approachable Network Analysis

From the University of Michigan Business Intelligence Community of Experts:

Approachable Network Analysis

Presenter: Jeff Horon, Business Analyst, Medical School Grant Review & Analysis Office


Unlock the power of network structures in your data. Learn how to build and analyze networks to gain insights through relationship analysis. Apply approachable techniques and free, user-friendly software. Transform the data you have into the data you need – from relational databases and unstructured text to common network structures.

Jeff detailed his work in the Medical School Grant Review & Analysis Office. Examples will include: Identifying networks of collaborators from eResearch Proposal Management [eRPM PAF] data, discovering networks of concepts in unstructured text, and use cases from other administrative data sets. Jeff’s presentation included:

-“Networks 101″ – The basic building blocks of networks
-How people in any campus unit can apply network analysis
-An emphasis on approachable techniques and free, user-friendly software
-Strategies for effectively visualizing and sharing network-driven insights
-Tools, tips, and tricks

Presented examples were produced with NodeXL, which is a product of Microsoft Research and university collaborators. NodeXL is very approachable — you can produce a network visualization by simply copying and pasting in two columns of properly-formatted data (i.e. an ‘edge list’). It computes a desirable set of network metrics, including eigenvector centrality. Layout, visual encoding, and aesthetics are top notch. It installs into Excel 2007+ as a template.

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