Relationship analysis is a visualization form you are probably more familiar with than you know. The earliest exposure you would have had to a visualization of this type would have been a family tree. Understanding how relationships work, and being able to tell at a glance which of a set of objects is dependent on another, is an old but growing area. Especially given the advent of social media, networks are taken to represent influence; for instance, a marketer may be more inclined to market to people with many followers on twitter than to those with only a few followers. Being able to analyze this is thus is a key differentiator. This chapter skips the pieces of heavy lifting that often sit underneath these analyses. The tools that would be used for this analysis include graph databases.
The two different types of relationship analysis we are going to cover in this chapter are network graphs, which show items at the same level and how they interrelate, and hierarchical or tree structures, which show the relationships from the top down. Trees and hierarchies have technical differences in detail, but for the purposes of visualization, you can treat them the same. You will be familiar with the Analysis Services hierarchies already from Chapter 13, so those types of visualization will be excluded.