Four Steps: Social Network Analysis by Twitter Hashtag with NodeXL [Guest post by Johanna Morariu]

Note from Ann: Today’s guest post is from Johanna Morariu, Director of Innovation Network, AEA DVRTIG Chair, and dataviz aficionado.

snaBasic social network analysis is something EVERYONE can do. So let’s try out one social network analysis tool, NodeXL, and take a peek at the Twitter hashtag #eval13.

Using NodeXL (a free Excel plug-in) I will demonstrate step-by-step how to do a basic social network analysis (SNA). SNA is a dataviz approach for data collection, analysis, and reporting. Networks are made up of nodes (often people or organizations) and edges (the relationships or exchanges between nodes). The set of nodes and edges that make up a network form the dataset for SNA. Like other types of data, there are quantitative metrics about networks, for example, the overall size and density of the network.

There are four basic steps to creating a social network map in NodeXL: get NodeXL, open NodeXL, import data, and visualize.

Do you want to explore the #eval13 social network data? Download it here.

Here’s where SNA gets fun—there is a lot of value in visually analyzing the network. Yes, your brain can provide incredible insight to the analysis process. In my evaluation consulting experience, the partners I have worked with have consistently benefited more from the exploratory, visual analysis they have benefited from reviewing the quantitative metrics. Sure, it is important to know things like how many people are in the network, how dense the relationships are, and other key stats. But for real-world applications, it is often more important to examine how pivotal players relate to each other relative to the overall goals they are trying to achieve.

So here’s your challenge—what do you learn from analyzing the #eval13 social network data? Share your visualizations and your findings!

8 thoughts on “Four Steps: Social Network Analysis by Twitter Hashtag with NodeXL [Guest post by Johanna Morariu]

  1. johannamorariu Post author

    Hello Joitske, let’s see, for the version of NodeXL I’m using, the steps are:
    1. Working in the “Vertices” tab of the spreadsheet: In column C (“Visual Properties” section, column “Shape”), change the value for all cells to “Label”. You can do this by selecting all of the cells and clicking on the NodeXL tab, then on “Vertex Shape” and then on “Label.”
    2. In column H (“Labels” section, column “Label”), change the value for all cells to reflect the lable you want displayed—often a copy-paste from the name of the vertex itself.
    3. On the map, click “Show Graph” or “Lay Out Again.” Your map should now have labels. It might be messy, but they’re there! Now make it pretty:)
    Hopefully that works for you, too!

  2. Pingback: Johanna Morariu on #eval13 Network Analysis with NodeXL · AEA365

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