NoSQL visualization

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 network 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: Couchbase 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 network visualization software.

Learn more about modeling graph data

NoSQL Visualization infrastructure

We can visualize NoSQL data in KeyLines 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 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

Learn more

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.

Download the White Paper

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