Network visualization — sometimes referred to as graph visualization or link analysis — is the practice of creating visual depictions of connected data. Network visualization is used to identify relationships between disparate data points on a network, which can improve root cause analysis, performance visibility, and make IT teams more efficient. In many cases, network visualization refers to mapping network topology to understand the physical layout and current status of the network. Network visualization can be performed at many scales, whether for in-office devices or for data centers across a continent.
Network visualization can sometimes be used as a broad term and, besides referring to network mapping, in some cases may refer to the many methods of data correlation. In computer networking, visualization can refer to the process of aggregating data into visual charts and graphs to locate patterns, trends, and correlations between network data. These sorts of connections might otherwise go undetected in text-based formats.
Network visualization solutions are a very useful tool that provide critical visibility into network infrastructure. Leveraging network visualizations can improve efficiency, help with troubleshooting, and offer IT teams flexibility in how they can manipulate what can sometimes be complex data points.
Compared to spreadsheets, inventory lists, and text-based reports, network visualization — from graphs and charts to topology maps — is generally easier for both admins and those outside the IT team to use and understand. In addition, network visualization is important because it allows IT teams to obtain a more robust knowledge of their networks with real-time, at-a-glance insights into the infrastructure and current performance. If a node is down, the information is available visually, whether on a map or highlighted on a chart. Additionally, IT teams can make better sense of critical information by viewing node-link structures in a visual setting, as this can streamline network analysis and lead to better capacity planning.
F.A.Q about Network Visualization
What is network visualization?
Network visualization, graph visualization or link analysis is the process of visually presenting networks of connected entities as links and nodes.
Nodes represent data points and links represent the connections between them.
To look beyond your flat data model and understand connections in your data, you need powerful network visualization tools.
Why visualize networks?
Exploring networks as node-link structures instantly makes sense, even to people who’ve never worked with connected data before.
Our brains are great at spotting patterns, but only when the info is in a tangible format. Network visualization helps you identify trends and outliers quickly.
Network visualization lets you simplify complexity, see context and understand detail. With one chart, you can get an overview or dive into specific connections.
Through interactive data analysis, you gain deeper knowledge and understand context. That’s hard to achieve with a static, aggregated visualization.
Who needs to visualize networks?
Law enforcement & security
Join the dots between people, places and events and filter out the noise that stops you seeing the connections and preventing crime.
Create interactive visualizations that reveal bottlenecks and vulnerabilities in connected critical infrastructure.
Uncover unusual activities to identify, predict and prevent all kinds of fraud: from insurance scams to VAT fraud.
Make sense of vast, complex and densely-connected data to uncover cyber security threats and help keep networks secure.