So, someone told you to check out Constellate--the new text and data analytics service from ITHAKA that includes clear learning paths, the ability to easily build data sets using content from JSTOR and its partners, and a lab where you can practice using popular and widely available tools and techniques for text- and data-analysis?  Excellent.

Step 1:  Identify a topic that interests you and see what content is available for analysis right from the home page:

Example of searching from the home page

When you click search, you are going to come straight into the Dataset Builder with your initial keywords filtered.  

    Hint: Building a coherent dataset is key to any text analysis. If you are just exploring, we recommend building a very tight, subject specific dataset. You can do this with some robust keyword filtering, but you might also want to focus on one or two titles. The publications in Reveal Digital are often very narrow and using one of those publications as a source can provide interesting and informative results.

Step 2: Play with the filters on the left side of the Dataset Builder to narrow down your topic of interest. As you change them, your visualizations on the right side will change.  (You may also read a detailed description of these filters.)

Step 3: You may download any of those visualizations as images or download the data behind them, by selecting the three vertical dots on the top right of each.  You can also create a shareable URL directly to the visualization from that menu.  You may read more about the ins and outs of our visualizations.

Step 4: When you are happy with your configurations and want to save your dataset, you should first login!  Go up to the top right and choose "Log In".  This is going to bounce you to a JSTOR login page – you want to use the functionality on the left hand side to either login with an existing JSTOR user account or create a new one (I find the Google auth the easiest option.)  When you succeed at logging in, you will be sent back to the dataset you were building in Constellate.

Step 5: Go up to the top and select “Build”.  This is going to save your search and give it a unique identifier, so you can get back to it again easily and share it with others.

Step 6: The page changed!  You are now looking at your Dataset Dashboard.  This is where all the datasets you have created will live.  If you ever want to build a new dataset, click “Build a new dataset” up at the top of the page.

Step 7: You can stop at the immediate visualizations of your dataset or you can dig further.  From your Dashboard, you may click on the dataset ‘name’ to go back to its configuration and visualizations in the Dataset Builder.  You could also choose to do deeper analysis by selecting the Analyze button or download the data by way of the Download button (note that "Analyze" is only available to users at participating institutions.)

Step 8: If you want to further analyze your dataset, you can work with it in the Constellate Analytics Lab with Jupyter Notebooks.  If you select the Analyze button and you are at a participating institution, you will be presented with some analysis options.  We recommend new users select the “Tutorial” options.  If you are new to coding and/or Jupyter Notebooks, the most important thing to know to get started is that you want to click on that “Run” button at the very top (the one that looks like a play button), and just run each cell.  You will get results!  We recommend you read the documentation as you go, but it isn’t necessary.  

Step 9 and the final step in this Quickstart: If the Constellate Lab and Jupyter Notebooks are too big a jump for you and you are at an institution that participates in Constellate, click on the “Tutorials” link in the top menu above and work through our lessons.  You may also sign up to take one of our interactive classes or get in touch with us to find out who our contact is at your institution, as they can also help you with next steps.