Engineering complex data integration, harmonization and visualization systems

Iman Avazpour, John Grundy, Liming Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Complex data transformation, aggregation and visualization problems are becoming increasingly common. These are needed in order to support improved business intelligence and end-user access to data. However, most such applications present very challenging software engineering problems including noisy data, diverse data formats and APIs, challenging data modeling and increasing demand for sophisticated visualization support. This paper describes a data integration, harmonization and visualization process and framework that we have been developing. We discuss our approach used to tackle complex data aggregation and harmonization problems and we demonstrate a set of information visualizations that can be developed from the harmonized data to make it usable for its target audience. We use a case study of Household Travel Survey data mapping, harmonization, aggregation and visualization to illustrate our approach. We summarize a set of lessons that we have learned from this industry-based software engineering experience. We hope these will be useful for others embarking on challenging data harmonization and integration problems. We also identify several key directions and needs for future research and practical support in this area.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100103
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Industrial Information Integration
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • Aggregation
  • Cleaning
  • Data Harmonisation
  • Data Inconsistencies
  • Data Integration
  • Federated Databases
  • Multi-source data collection
  • Pre-processing
  • Visualization

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