Understanding the LinkedIn Data Model

Now that you understand the types of interactions that occur on LinkedIn, in this guide we'll take a look at how these are accessible through the targets provided.

Targets and namespaces

Each interaction received from LinkedIn has a large number of attributes you can use in your analysis.

Targets are how interaction attributes are accessed in PYLON. As there are many targets available for LinkedIn the targets are grouped into heirarchical namespaces.

Different interaction types populate different targets. For instance a share activity has text content, whereas a like engagement does not. In the next guide you'll see example interactions and which targets are populated for each.

Interaction types and subtypes

In the previous guide we explained that interactions fall into two groups; activities and events.

This diagram shows more clearly how the types and subtypes of interactions are represented in the data model:

interaction-types

You'll see that under interaction we have three types, accessible through the li.type target:

  • activity - an activity
  • click - a click event
  • article_view - an article view event

Under the activity type we have the following subtype, accessible through the li.subtype target:

  • activity|share - a share activity
  • activity|like - a like on a share, reshare or article in the newsfeed
  • activity|comment - a comment on a share, reshare or article in the newsfeed
  • activity|reshare - a reshare of a share, reshare or article in the newsfeed
  • activity|follow - a member clicks a follow button on the newsfeed

For events there are the following subtypes:

  • click|expand - a member clicks a 'show more' link on the newsfeed
  • click|view - a member clicks to view an article on the newsfeed
  • article_view|article_view - a member views an article

Notice that the subtypes are prefixed by their parent type.

Key targets and namespaces

Although there are many targets available you'll see that the namespacing system allows you to learn the important groups of targets you will use regularly in your analysis.

Interaction authors and actors

All activities and events are the result of an action carried out by a member, or a member acting as a company. Details of the member or company who triggered the event are found in the li.user.* set of targets.

Namespace / target Populated for Description
li.user.* All interactions Details of the member or company that triggered the interaction.
li.user.member.* Interactions triggered by members Details of the member that triggered the interaction.
li.user.company.* Interactions triggered by members acting as a company Details of the company (who the member is acting as) that triggered the interaction.

Interaction content

A share activity, comment, and share engagement can contain text content. You cannot analyze this content, but you can filter by it.

Namespace / target Populated for Description
li.content Share activities, comments, share engagements The text content of the interaction.

To see what content, brands and topics interactions relate to you can use the li.all.* set of targets.

Namespace / target Populated for Description
li.all.articles.* Shares containing a link, engagements and events on articles, engagements and events on shares with links, article views Details of the article that was shared, shared in the share being engaged with, or that is being viewed.
li.all.concepts.* Shares containing a link, engagements and events on articles, engagements and events on shares with links, article views Concepts extracted from the content of the article that was shared, shared in the share being engaged with, or that is being viewed.
li.all.mentions.* All interactions (where one or more companies are mentioned) Companies mentioned in text content of the share, the share engaged with, or any article related to the interaction.

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Note that the li.all.* target namespace covers all types of interactions. So if a share includes an article, the article details we be provided in li.all.articles.* for the share interaction. If a member then likes the share, then the article will again be provided in li.all.articles.*, as it is in the root share activity that is being engaged with.

Essentially the li.all.* targets gather up content details regardless of the interaction type into one consistent set of targets.

Root share activities and articles

As explained in the previous guide clicks and engagements are hydrated with the root share activity, or article that is being engaged with.

Any article that is related to the root activity is catered for in the li.all.* namespace as explained above. However, there are additional targets in the li.root.* namespaces which provide more context to the interaction.

Namespace / target Populated for Description
li.root.user.* Clicks and engagements on share activities Details of the member or company that posted the share being engaged on or clicked on.
li.root.content Clicks and engagements on share activities The text content of the share being engaged with or clicked on.

Note that none of the targets in the li.root.* namepspace are populated when the root is an article that was placed into the newsfeed by LinkedIn automatically.

Next steps...

It can be difficult to understand exactly how the targets fit with events and activities taking place on LinkedIn. Therefore, in the next guide we'll take a look at some concrete examples.

Example LinkedIn interactions