Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Software for Network Visualization and Analysis

On 27 March 2010 I had blog called, Network Analysis and Visualization of Qualitative Data. In response to this blog I received several requests to provide software programs that can be used in network visualization and analysis.

Increasingly each year there are more software developed for network visualization, but all network visualization tools require some degree of knowledge about how to structure network data and databases PRIOR to visualization. The only network visualization tool I know of (at this time) that requires a minimum knowledge of network data structure (or theory), is free-of-charge, and has some degree of document support is NodeXL.

NodeXL is a MSExcel add-on template for visually analyzing networks but also provides basic network statistics (in-degree, density, etc.). Most network visualization software require network data to be entered in one format (e.g., txt, DL, or other) and then imported into a software (NetDraw, Pajek) for visualization. NodeXL allows you to enter data directly, via in a familiar spreadsheet format, then to visualize it, and modify various characteristics of the network easily.

NodeXL is up-dated frequently and can provide great visual illustrations of ties, links, clusters, communities, and networks for a better understanding of your data.