What is Visual Data Analysis?

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.

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Please "sign" your contributions by marking with the code of 4 tildes (~) in a row so that we can follow up with you if we need additional information or leads to examples- this produces a signature when the page is updated, like this: - Larry Larry Feb 7, 2012

(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • Fold this into Learning Analytics? - bwatwood bwatwood Mar 12, 2012\
  • I don't think it's related to LA. This is more about the tools that are emerging to enable students and researchers to visualise and link data (but note that linked data may merit its own separate category). It's one thing to talk about mathematical representations of data. It's quite another to see it, manipulate it, and from that draw new insights from it. Tools emerging for visualising data that don't require sophisticated programming skill are making that more and more accessible to learners across the STEM landscape. - Phillip.Long Phillip.Long Aug 18, 2012
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(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • Does this need hooking up to 'big data'? - Nick Nick Aug 5, 2012
  • Linked data is related to this topic, though it may merit a category for itself since the purpose of linked data is to juxtapose information from disparate sources, often not initially associated with one another, to gain novel insights into a problem or question.- Phillip.Long Phillip.Long Aug 18, 2012
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(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on STEM+ education?

  • visualisation tools for data allow the novice learner to explore and gain insights into quantitative data without the prerequisite skill requirement of either computational coding or deep mathematical understanding. - Phillip.Long Phillip.Long Aug 18, 2012
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(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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