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Beautiful Data by Toby Segaran, Jeff Hammerbacher

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Conclusion

Based on the results of the sense.us project, we observed that the combination of interactive visualization and social interpretation can help an audience more richly explore a data set. However, as a research prototype, the sense.us site was never publicly released. Instead, my colleagues at IBM succeeded sense.us with the launch of Many-Eyes.com: a public website where users can upload their own data sets, visualize data using a variety of interactive visualization components, and engage in discussion on-site or embed visualization views in external blogs and wikis.

In a similar spirit, web services such as Swivel.com and Data360.org, and commercial products such as Spotfire Decision Site Posters and Tableau Server, now enable users to post visualizations to the Web and engage others in the process of social data analysis. In parallel with the larger movement toward web-scale social computing, there remains much to learn about how to catalyze and support social forms of data exploration. Many exciting research questions regarding how to integrate data analysis and social activity remain to be addressed. Open problems include the design of better social navigation cues, richer annotation techniques, and new methods for combining users' observations, questions, and hypotheses into a reasoned analysis story.

Though the forms of analysis we observed in sense.us were exploratory in nature, the system had a clear educational benefit and users reported that using sense.us was ...

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