Collaborative visual analytics leverages social interaction to support data exploration and sensemaking. These processes are typically imagined as formalised, extended activities, between groups of dedicated experts, requiring expertise with sophisticated data analysis tools. However, there are many professional domains that benefit from support for short ‘bursts’ of data exploration between a subset of stakeholders with a diverse breadth of knowledge. Such ‘casual collaborative’ scenarios will require engaging features to draw users’ attention, with intuitive, ‘walk-up and use’ interfaces. This paper presents Uplift, a novel prototype system to support ‘casual collaborative visual analytics’ for a campus microgrid, co-designed with local stakeholders. An elicitation workshop with key members of the building management team revealed relevant knowledge is distributed among multiple experts in their team, each using bespoke analysis tools. Uplift combines an engaging 3D model on a central tabletop display with intuitive tangible interaction, as well as augmented-reality, mid-air data visualisation, in order to support casual collaborative visual analytics for this complex domain. Evaluations with expert stakeholders from the building management and energy domains were conducted during and following our prototype development and indicate that Uplift is successful as an engaging backdrop for casual collaboration. Experts see high potential in such a system to bring together diverse knowledge holders and reveal complex interactions between structural, operational, and financial aspects of their domain. Such systems have further potential in other domains that require collaborative discussion or demonstration of models, forecasts, or cost-benefit analyses to high-level stakeholders.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 19 Oct 2020|