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Make the Most of This Powerful Research Tool for Universities with These Quick Tips

October 08, 2021

There’s nothing like hands-on experience with research and analytics tools for giving your students the practical knowledge needed for the data-driven careers awaiting them. Data discovery and analysis, however, can be riddled with challenges that slow their progress. Whether you’re considering our exciting new research tool for students or are already taking advantage of Nexis® Data Lab, these research tips and time-saving tricks for users can help.

Explore & Refine: Two Ways Nexis Data Lab Brings Focus to Results

Spend any time in today’s expanding ocean of data, and you can easily start feeling like Coleridge’s “Ancient Mariner” bemoaning, “water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink.” Rather than being overwhelmed by the volume of data surrounding you, our first two tips can help you map out a path to the right data for academic research.

Discover unexpected angles for analysis by exploring different data

Nexis Data Lab may be known first for its incredible current and archival news data, but that’s only one of the types of text-based data available. Nexis Data Lab also includes legal data that can provide valuable fuel for testing and training natural language processing algorithms and patents data that can be leveraged for trend modelling. Before setting off on a search, consider the full range of sources. You might find your research takes off in a whole different direction than you anticipated.

Take advantage of enrichments to improve results relevance

Even if you’ve narrowed your sights to a specific dataset, like news, the enrichments applied to the data in Nexis Data Lab make it easy to refine your search. In addition to metadata like publication name, location and data, our proprietary LexisNexis® SmartIndexing Technology™ tags data based on topics, industries, companies, people, and places. Subjects, for example, can be used to refine a search to focus on M&A activity for predictive modelling.  In addition, SmartIndexing adds relevancy scores, allowing you to retrieve only data that meet or exceed an 85% or higher relevancy score based on the term searched. Article sentiment is another enrichment that can help you quickly understand the overall tone of news data being leveraged for research.   

Notable Notebook Tricks:  Work efficiently in the Jupyter notebook

One of the benefits of Nexis Data Lab is its self-service nature. Once students and professors register for their user IDs, each user is given an individual workspace within the best-in-class, Jupyter notebook. This allows users to save searches. It also facilitates easy research reproduction, enabling users to export analysis, notebook code and document manifest to their personal laptop for future study and refinement. Want to conduct visuals-based analysis? That’s simple too, with a range of both text- and graphics-based analysis tools built into Nexis Data Lab.

Conquer code changes quickly

Of course, the internet is filled tricks for working with Jupyter notebook, but one really stands out because of how often it appears: Speed up work (or corrections to work) with Multicursor. Making changes to multiple lines of code can be a painstaking process. Whether you’re fine-tuning code or fixing an unfortunate typo in a variable that was replicated across the code, these tips let you make the change all at once.

To edit in multiple places within a cell, hold down Ctrl and double click to highlight each word to delete them all at once.

To edit across multiple vertical lines, handy if you want to add prefixes to variables in a cell, simply hold down Alt and drag the mouse down.

Give these tips for Nexis Data Lab a try and comment with your own favorite tricks for efficient academic research!