Enterprise Data Analysis and Visualization: An Interview Study

Original paper by Sean Kandel, Andreas Paepcke, Joseph M. Hellerstein, and Jeffrey Heer: http://vis.stanford.edu/files/2012-EnterpriseAnalysisInterviews-VAST.pdf

To provide a better understanding of the enterprise analyst’s ecosystem, this paper presents the results of several interviews done with data analysts from different business areas (healthcare, retail, marketing, and finance).

To understand how the social and organizational context of enterprises affects the way companies develop visual analytic tools, the authors conducted interviews with 35 analysts from 25 organizations. To get heterogeneous data the interviews covered different job titles such as data scientists, software engineers, consultants, and data analysts.

The results are presented along the paper focusing on the three main professional archetypes extracted from the interviews’ data: hackers, scripters, and application users. Each group has a discrepancy in programming proficiency, the range of tasks performed, and the statistical knowledge sophistication.

Most of the related work created before this has focused on studying analysts’ processes within intelligence agencies. This work differentiates itself by analyzing specific tasks performed by enterprise analysts and its used tools and practices.

The paper provides a great contribution on presenting design implications for visual analytic tools and calling attention to the human resources aspect of data-focused organizations that might benefit from this paper by getting insights about overall challenges faced for collaboration.