This project disseminated its outcomes in a variety of different ways.
To support its activities, and the activities of future users of the project outcomes, the project team created a number of online sites.
SAS Visual Analytics Collaboratory (this web site)
The Visual Analytics Collaboratory provides a freely accessible information repository that allows members to share their insights, experiences and data. The Collaboratory has now grown beyond this project and also describes the work of other groups.
The Collaboratory website is the main VA dissemination hub. It provides a blog of news related to current projects in VA, and an index of VA tools, data sets and business cases, some of which have been developed in this project and can be used by teachers, students and the general community. The Collaboratory members also provide access to the synopses of their recently published articles or pre-publication draft reports.
Music Mountain Shop
At Deakin, students participated in day-by-day purchasing of music from a simulated online store – Music Mountain Shop.
Transactions generated by students were uploaded to a SAS Visual Analytics system, so that in lectures students could be presented with the unfolding patterns of their own activity, and then in tutorial they could undertake an analysis of this data.
A quiz testing their learning was conducted and analysed to show significant changes in student perceptions of problem-solving with visual analytics and related technologies.
The Visual Business Analytics (VBA) project on Wikispaces is a repository of VA learning designs, which provides a Collaboratory for Teachers. Access to these resources require registration, login ID and password – details and access can be arranged by A/Prof. Olivera Marjanovic of the University of Sydney.
Informed by educational research and frameworks, such as the Extended Bloom’s Taxonomy and the Theory of Learning, the Wikispaces use a conceptual language for expressing innovative learning activities in visual analytics in a systematic and non-prescriptive way. The language was used to facilitate knowledge sharing and co-creation within our respective teaching practices (at both Deakin and Sydney) and set the foundations for such activities among any other users of the online wiki space environment.
In order to create realistic learning experience for students, we designed a method of analysing industry practices to discover patterns of underlying challenges, and combining these patterns into innovative learning activities, which were studied in this research.
Data Visualisation Tools
The Collaboratory visual analytics tools were developed primarily by the Deakin team, whereas the Sydney team relied on state-of-the-art cloud-based software tools provided through Teradata University Network (SAS Visual Analytics and Tableau) as well as an enterprise social media platform (Yammer) and web 2.0 collaborative platform (Wikispaces). The tools developed by the Deakin team simplify and highlight the fundamental aspects of analytic principles for classroom and online teaching.
These tools were designed to utilise data visualisation, interactivity and often immersive data manipulation techniques, commonly used in 2D and 3D computer games and simulations.
If you wish to use any of the collaboratory tools, please see our software index.
Animated CD Store
One of the first tools developed, as part of a pilot study, was an animated CD store. The CD Store was presented as an online Java game with a business narrative where students were able to collect data, either by measuring customer inter-arrival time, or customer satisfaction with their shopping experience while departing the store. Subsequently, students were asked to perform a variety of analytics on the collected data. The quiz testing their knowledge of the newly learnt concepts indicated significantly better learning outcomes when using visual methods of learning as compare with the traditional methods.
Visual Analyst 2D and 3D
The last phase of the project focused on students’ collaborative work with unfamiliar data and visual forms. At Deakin, this involved students who had previously completed Business Analytics units and were exposed to the experimental Visual Analytics environments, reliant on either Business Analyst 2D or Business Analyst 3D software tools setting a “data terrain” for problem solving. Both groups of students relied on their ability to ‘roam’ the data terrain of motor vehicle accidents and identify data characteristics from terrain features, such as elevation, colour and shape. The two experimental groups demonstrated significant differences in behaviour, attitudes and performance, especially when working in teams.
Learning by casual users and the public
With the use of a specially constructed large screen located in the foyer of the Deakin University, Business and Law building at the Melbourne Burwood campus, a fully immersive game with motion tracking for “collateral learning” of Business Analytics concepts has been developed and trialled for the use of passing-by business students.
Several YouTube videos have been produced to demonstrate various experiments with Interactive Visual Analytics in 3D. See the following:
- Interactive Visual Analytics 3D for Motor-Vehicle Accidents
- Interactive Visual Analytics 3D with Mobile Controller
- Interactive Visual Analytics 3D in Analyst Navigation
- WWT Layerscape: Australians Watching Movies XMAS 2012
- Interactive Visual Analytics 3D with Grids and Layers
- Interactive Visual Analytics 3D in Explorer View
- New Analytics Collaboratory makes business decision-making game-play
See a separate List of the OLT Project Publications.
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This work by Visual Analytics is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.