Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Reaction: Jigsaw: Supporting Investigative Analysis through Interactive Visualization

The authors have proposed a tool Jigsaw which will represent the documents and corresponding document objects visually which will help in analysis of the document as a whole. I agree with the statement that whenever the size of the document grows large then the understanding rate goes on depleting. I have experienced this myself many a times. I have read several technical papers of average length of 10-12 pages. These papers mainly consist of 2 column text and not many diagrams. I am able to concentrate for the first half and then I stop reading because I cannot digest it after that.

I think Jigsaw will be helpful since it gives a visual perception. I liked the idea of breaking up the document into entities and representing them in tabular or graphical form. These are powerful tools of viz. Of all the views I would go with the graph view. This is because it allows expanding and contracting of the data. In contrast to it the scatter plot and list view are not so intuitive and will be difficult for the user to handle.
I agree with the author's view that the analytic reports should not be replaced by tools. Reports are very important in Business Intelligence and Analytics. I too understand that reports are irreplaceable. However the authors wan to say that adding Visual effects to these reports will make the task of analysis more easy for the analysts.

One final note is that the field of analytics will have data pouring everyday in your data warehouses. You will have Extraction Transform Loading tools which cleanse the data and generate reports for you. We should strike a balance between the two - large textual data and an effort to represent them in a visual way. None of them is totally complete. They aid each other or we can say complement each other.