Key Value and Column stores are 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 network visualization.
What is a NoSQL Key-Value Store?
A 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||19UYA1234 L000213||Coupe||2012|
|Policy_ZN 987987||42 Mill Crescent||Chris Bloggs||14PLU1234 L120213||Estate||2007|
|Policy_JP 456456||12 Sample Street||Michael Richards||19UYA1234 L000213||Coupe||2012|
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|
Converting NoSQL tables into a network
When visualizing key-value 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 Visualization infrastructure
We can visualize NoSQL data in KeyLines using the following architecture:
With this setup, AJAX requests are raised when a user interacts with their KeyLines chart. This calls for data from the database, either via an API look Blueprints, or with your own choice of API.
Once the data is retrieved, it is parsed into KeyLines’ JSON and merged or loaded into the KeyLines chart
To learn more about the KeyLines network visualization toolkit and how to visualize your complex connected data, download a copy of our KeyLines white paper.