Using visualization to support insight generation and sharing

The primary purpose of visualization is to support insight. Understanding the generation process of visualization insight has been an important goal of information visualization research.

To support insights, members of the Ubiquitous Interaction research group at the Department of Computer Science, University of Helsinki, devised a Carbon Dioxide Explorer (see picture) that enabled users to refer to visualization components (entities) in externalizing their insights. A crowdsourced study was carried out to assess the use of entity references, their relations to insights, and the influence of personality traits on insight generation. Users were asked to freely explore the Explorer and externalize their insights by writing notes and referring to entities.


Figure: Carbon dioxide explorer visualization


This research would not have been possible without HIIT support funding. The funding enabled researchers to run user studies, resulting in a journal article that was accepted to an important visualization journal. The support was also important as the results were used to apply for SRC funding for a project on data literacy, DATALit, where the research will continue.

DataLit project:

Related work: He, C., Micallef, L., He, L., Peddinti, G., Aittokallio, T., & Jacucci, G. (2020). Characterizing the Quality of Insight by Interactions: A Case Study. IEEE transactions on visualization and computer graphics.