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2010 Short List Visual Data Analysis
2010 ANZ Short List
2010 ANZ Horizon Report Short List
Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less
Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three Years
Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Four to Five Years
Visual Data Analysis
Visual Data Analysis
2010 Final Topic:
Time-to-Adoption: Four to Five Years
Visual data analysis blends highly advanced computational methods with sophisticated graphics engines to tap the extraordinary ability of humans to see patterns and structure in even the most complex visual presentations. Currently applied to massive, heterogeneous, and dynamic datasets, such as those generated in studies of astrophysical, fluidic, biological, and other complex processes, the techniques have become sophisticated enough to allow the interactive manipulation of variables in real time.
Ultra high-resolution displays allow teams of researchers to zoom into interesting aspects of the renderings, or to navigate along interesting visual pathways, following their intuitions and even hunches to see where they may lead. New research is now beginning to apply these sorts of tools to the social sciences as well, and the techniques offer considerable promise in helping us understand complex social processes like learning, political and organizational change, and the diffusion of knowledge.
Relevance for Teaching, Learning & Creative Enquiry
Tools for visual data analysis expose trends and relationships among both qualitative and quantitative variables, and make longitudinal relationships easier to find and interpret.
Models of complex processes in quantum physics, organic chemistry, medicine, or economics demonstrate how the outcomes of visual data analysis can be applied to learning situations.
Using tools like Many Eyes and Wordle, students can analyze the contents of their papers for insights into what points might need further development, and whether certain language has been overused.
Visual Data Analysis in Practice
From simulating the way waves break against a ship to visualizing seasonal carbon dioxide accumulation in North America, these videos demonstrate the diversity of data visualization:
Analytics and data visualization allowed researchers at the University of Pennsylvania to visually model (in real time) the response of the body's immune system to a parasitic infection:
A wide variety of data visualization projects are featured on this site, including one that shows changes in the text from one edition of The Origin of the Species to the next:
For Further Reading
7 Things You Should Know About Data Visualization II
(Educause, August 2009.) This article discusses data visualization as it relates to higher education: who's using it, why they're using it, and what to expect in the future.
New Visualization Techniques Yield Star Formation Insights
, 4 January 2009.) A new computer algorithm developed at the Harvard Initiative in Innovative Computing demonstrated that data visualization is critical in the discovery of new information, not just in the final presentation of data.
Report from the DOE/ASCR Workshop on Visual Analysis and Data Exploration at Extreme Scale
This report describes fundamental research in visualization and analysis that is enabling knowledge discovery from computational science applications at extreme scale.
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