Data Visualization and Network Analysis

After working with our own data and creating our own network this week, I learned that everything has to follow the same format in oder for it to work correctly. As we looked at our network on RAW, we started coming up with different questions and realized we needed more information/data in order to answer those questions. I’d imagine that this is how some, if not most of DHer’s research questions come about.

Data visualization and network analysis are important tools in the DH field when used appropriately and correctly. Like Scott Weingart said in his Demystifying Networks blog, “networks can be used on any project. Networks should be used on far fewer.”

Data visualization and network analysis provide an easier way to look at the information/data you gathered and help develop questions. I’m anxious to see if we will use it for our final project and if so, how we will use it. Will it work the same as our in class lab with raw? Will we come up with different questions/angles to our project along the way?

I also enjoyed looking at Kindred Britain this week. It’s nice to get a chance to explore different types of DH projects and see how much work and effort go into them. I think that’s also where humanists draw a line; more tools, less understanding, more effort. We talked a couple weeks ago about this ongoing battle between digital humanists and humanists and how they’re both limiting themselves from the benefits of the other. A traditional humanist might not understand the benefits of data visualization tools and creating a digital networks because it’s over their heads and it probably seems overwhelmingly difficult and complex. However, (coming from an inexperienced and beginner “DHer”) after working with these tools I can confidently say that they do have their benefits. Working with our own data and creating a network last week proved to me that these tools seem scary and complicated, but they don’t have to be. You’re providing with the data, you’re in charge, and these tools are just there to assist you.

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4 thoughts on “Data Visualization and Network Analysis

  1. This week we got to put “The Hermeneutics of Screwing Around” in practice, and you’re definitely right–our visualization in class was just practice, and we learned that we needed to go back and revise some things before we could get the results we wanted.

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  2. I’m glad you brought up the problem with using raw data. In class we all had our own versions of data and this can be a major problem when we are working in a group. I hadn’t even considered it. I was so excited by the idea of being able to manipulate data via technology and how much easier that would be that I didn’t think about the complex steps you need to take to actually input the information into the computer.

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  3. I liked learning how to use visualization with RAW also, it was new to me. I like the way you ended this blogpost about us being in charge. Sometimes the tools we use seem complicated but if you just try to look at them in a more simple way, you can do very interesting things with them.

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  4. I agree with you that it’s very important to keep in mind that we’re the ones who are in charge of the data and the tools are just there to lend a helping hand. Networks are a really cool way to visually see data, and while they may not be important in every single DH project, I think just having them to look at, even just for yourself, is a good organizational tool and can help you to better understand the project you’re undertaking, and especially to explain it to novice or non DH-er’s.

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