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.

INSTRUCTIONS: Enter your responses to the questions below. This is most easily done by moving your cursor to the end of the last item and pressing RETURN to create a new bullet point. Please include URLs whenever you can (full URLs will automatically be turned into hyperlinks; please type them out rather than using the linking tools in the toolbar).

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

  • Using data systems to make sense of the data that is out there is a growing field and will become more and more useful in education. Currently it is in its infancy with simple point to point data analysis available but more and more it is being explored. The International Research Collaborative is an interesting first step we use at ISM in which about 20 schools are partnered with a professor at Boston College who has developed a survey measure to understand 1:1 usage at schools: http://www.asbunplugged.org/collaborative/partners.asp - David.collett David.collett Nov 6, 2015 From this the data is fed into an engine that allows for the data to be visualized and sectors pulled out and compared to see usage trends.
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(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

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(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative inquiry?

  • Having these tools available and more ubiquitously used will move decision making from the heuristic observational perceptions to the data driven which will more accurately deliver on initiative aims and reveal perhaps unconsidered elements and the efficacy of current initiatives in teaching and learning. - David.collett David.collett Nov 6, 2015
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(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

  • The International Research Collaborative referred to above, led by American school Bombay - David.collett David.collett Nov 6, 2015
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