Horizon Report – visual data analysis
[This is part of a series on the annual Horizon Report, which identifies technologies likely to impact teaching, learning, or creative inquiry.]
Visual data analysis refers to the use of advanced computers to visually display complex data in meaningful ways. This technology is expected to have wide impact on teaching and learning four or five years from now.
Scientists and other researchers generate massive amounts of data all the time – not to mention the data created automatically by online activity and other pursuits. There are now many tools and techniques which can help interpret such data, exposing patterns, structures, trends, and more. A bunch of articles in this blog have already dealt with visualization.
Visual data analysis augments our natural ability to find patterns in what we see. Tools that let us manipulate variables or see them change over time have applicability in all kinds of endeavors. It will still be a few years before such tools are widely used in teaching and learning, but this ability to clearly illustrate complex relationships has obvious implications for survey courses.