NoSQL visualization

Visualizing graphs with key value and column stores

A NoSQL Key Value Store and Column Store form the most basic NoSQL data models. Their speed, simplicity and ability to distribute across multiple hosts has made them popular in the world of enterprise data – and therefore they’re a common choice for graph visualization.

What is a NoSQL Key Value Store?

A NoSQL Key Value NoSQL database stores data as a set of Keys and Values, also known as an associative array, organized into rows. For example, a database of car insurance policies might look like this:

Value_ Policy_ Address Holder_Name Value_ Vehicle_ ID Value_ Vehicle_ Model Value_ Vehicle_ Year
Policy_AB 123123 123 Road Street Joe Smith 19[…]213 Coupe 2012
Policy_ZN 987987 42 Mill Crescent Chris Bloggs 14[…]133 Estate 2007
Policy_JP 456456 12 Sample Street Michael Richards 19[…]313 Coupe 2012

Examples of a NoSQL Key Value store include: Redis and DynamoBD.

What is a NoSQL Column Store?

A column store uses a similarly flat structure, but with keys stored in columns rather than rows:

Policy_ AB123123 Policy_ ZN 987987 Policy_ JP 456456
Value_ Policy_ Address 123 Road Street 42 Mill Crescent 12 Sample Street
Value_ Holder_ Name Joe Smith Chris Bloggs Michael Richards
Value_ Vehicle_ ID 19[…]213 14[…]133 19[…]313
Value_Vehicle_Model Coupe Estate Coupe
Value_Vehicle_Year 2012 2007 2012

Examples of NoSQL Column stores include: Hadoop, HBase and DynamoDB.

Converting NoSQL tables into a network

When visualizing a NoSQL Key Value store or Column data as a network, we need to convert the data into a node-link model.

A single table can be mapped as many nodes or a single node with many properties. For example, an insurance fraud analyst might want to identify individuals making an unusual volume of claims, in which case names, addresses, policies, and claims could all be modeled as nodes, with remaining data entities included as properties:

NoSQL Key-value datastore visualization using KeyLines graph visualization software.

Learn more about modeling graph data

NoSQL Visualization infrastructure

We can visualize NoSQL data in either KeyLines or ReGraph using the following architecture:

How to visualize a NoSQL Key value database, including Apache HBASE, FoundationDB, Amazon DynamoDB, Couchbase and Cassandra

With this setup, AJAX requests are raised when a user interacts with their graph visualization chart. This calls for data from the database, either via an API like Blueprints, or with your own choice of API.

Once the data is retrieved, it is parsed into JSON and merged or loaded into the visualization chart.

Learn more

To learn more about graph visualization and how to visualize your complex connected data, download our ultimate guide to graph visualization

Download the guide

How to visualize your graph data

At Cambridge Intelligence, we help developers build graph visualization tools that are 100% customized to their users, their data and the questions they need to answer.

Graph visualization for JavaScript developers

Graph visualization for JavaScript developers

Code how you like. Add graph visualization to your applications that work anywhere, as part of any stack.

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Graph visualization for React developers

ReGraph Graph visualization for React developers

With ReGraph’s simple data-driven API, it’s quick and easy to add graph visualizations to your React applications.

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