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Graph Analysis and Visualization: Discovering Business Opportunity in Linked Data by David Jonker, Richard Brath

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Chapter 7 Point-and-Click Graph Tools

As you’ve read through the previous chapters, you have learned about the process for graph analysis and visualization. It’s now time to consider the tools that you can use to analyze and visualize graphs.

A number of good point-and-click graph analysis and visualization tools are available to explore modestly sized graphs. These tools can provide quick insights without requiring any programming. Note that point-and-click tools are not necessarily as quick and easy to use as you might expect, so allow time to learn the software and its idiosyncrasies.

In the writing of this book, the following point-and-click tools have been used. No single point-and-click tool is best; each tool has specific strengths.

  • Excel—This is effective for data cleansing, data preparation, and the visualization of small-scale matrices. Free alternatives (such as Google Spreadsheet) can be used for some of these tasks. (See http://products.office.com/en-us/excel or http://docs.google.com.)
  • NodeXL—This is a free plug-in for Excel that provides direct graph import from social networks and e-mail, as well as some visualization capabilities. (See http://nodexl.codeplex.com/.)
  • Gephi—This is a free, popular graph analysis and visualization software package with extensive data import/export capabilities, rich layout capabilities, and additional third-party plug-ins. (See https://gephi.github.io/.)
  • Cytoscape—This is a free, powerful graph analysis and visualization software ...

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