In the Visualization and Behavior Group we take the perspective that data visualization should make data analytics accessible to anyone, not just the data's experts. We also believe that using social software for communication is the new norm, not a trend. We ask questions related to this world where people communicate through social media and gain insight into their world with data visualization.
Our group builds innovative visual interfaces, designs novel user experiences for exploring analytics, and analyzes users' behavior in terms of motivations, incentives, and cultural influences.
Some questions that keep us up at night:
- What does it take to trust the results shown in a visualization?
- How is your cultural background and orientation reflected in your communication?
- How does culture influence your interpretation of a visualization?
- How can interactivity help people explore advanced analytical models?
- How do you design a visualization for streaming data, when you don't know what you have until you have it?
Many Eyes website (2007-2010). Many Eyes is a public web site that allows users to gather data, visualize it, and discuss their visualizations. Within IBM Research, we used the site as an experimental platform to
test our research hypotheses about the ability of visualizations to spur communication
and social interaction, and how that activity may yield new insights into data. In 2010, the site became a joint project between Research and IBM Cognos Software Group, and today, Cognos maintains the site and user community.
[visit Many Eyes]
Beehive (2007-2011). Beehive (later called SocialBlue) was an internal social networking site our team designed and then deployed within IBM's intranet. We designed Beehive to help employees make new connections, track current friends and coworkers, and renew contacts with people they have worked with in the past. Over 65,000 employees joined the site and our research focused on understanding motivations for using the site, impact on organizational social capital, and design of incentives to encourage participation. The site ran live inside of IBM from 2007 through 2011.