How to chart data

The decisions that you make on how to model your data and where to store it in Analyst's Notebook affect how you can present and analyze the information.

Entities or properties

When you put your data into Analyst's Notebook, it is important to decide when to create separate entities and when to store information in a single entity. For example, you might have the following information about a person:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Nationality
  • Address
  • Bank account details
  • Name of the organization where they work

Name, date of birth, and nationality are characteristics of a specific person and can therefore be stored as properties on an entity that represents a person.

An address is a separate real-world object. Several people might live at the same address. Add it to the chart once as a separate entity and link each person who lives there to that address. This method avoids including the same information several times on the chart and reduces the potential for entering the same information inconsistently.

A bank account is also a separate real-world entity. By creating a separate bank account entity and linking the person to it, you can then show transactions between specific bank accounts rather than between the bank accounts' owners. This model leads to more effective analysis, particularly if the person has more than one bank account.

The organization where the person works is again a separate real-world entity. You can enable analysis of which people work at various organizations by creating links between the people and the organizations where they work. However, for presentation purposes, sometimes it is sufficient to represent an organization as a box that encloses the people who work at that organization.

Example charts

Several example charts are provided with Analyst's Notebook. They show examples of how you might want to chart and store information. The charts are typically in C:\Users\<username>\Documents\i2\i2 Analyst's Notebook 9\Example Charts. They include examples of:

  • Storing and charting financial data in different ways.
  • The use of types and styles to highlight differences in the data.
  • The use of different entity representations to present your information, such as event frames when you want to display the date, time, and description of events.
  • Storing and charting geographical data.
  • Handling data that contains hyperlinks, pictures, and different language alphabets.
  • Combining different chart styles (association and timeline) in a single chart.

If you open these charts in Analyst's Notebook, they contain annotation that helps you to understand more about storing and charting data.