Data scientists and other analytic professionals often use interactive visualization in the dissemination phase at the end of a workflow during which findings are communicated to a wider audience. Visualization scientists, however, hold that interactive representation of data can also be used during exploratory analysis itself. Since the use of interactive visualization is optional rather than mandatory, this leaves a “visualization gap” during initial exploratory analysis that is the onus of visualization researchers to fill. In this paper, we explore areas where visualization would be beneficial in applied research by conducting a design study using a novel variation on contextual inquiry conducted with professional data analysts. Based on these interviews and experiments, we propose a set of interactive initial exploratory visualization guidelines which we believe will promote adoption by this type of user.
Read the full paper in IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics.