Visualizing More Wow

There was another Wow session this afternoon, all about visualization. The speakers were Richard Brath from Oculus and Brian Chadbourne from Groxis. I was the moderator. Richard noted that if you watch CNN or CNBC and see the colorful background with colors and square representing how the stock market is doing, you’ve seen Oculus in action. In his view, visualization leads to faster understanding, delivers increased cognitive capacity, shows the big picture, and allows for comprehension of complexity. With visualization, you can look at events over time to see patterns. This can help companies detect fraud and surface hidden knowledge. He stressed the "sense making" that comes from visual images. He also thinks that work is not sequential and that technology should help people reshuffle data.

Brian (not Brad as the final program says) started his presentation by saying that he thought visualization is the real key to the future of competitive intelligence. Search is ubiquitous but primitive. Information visualization requires cognitive neuroscience plus human-computer interaction plus software language. Our world is visual and creative juxtaposition drives idea generation. He echoed Richard’s sentiments about the non-linearity of work and thinks discovery is more likely to come in a chaotic, serendipitous way. I was most impressed that he didn’t talk solely about Groxis and its Grokker product, although he did give us a nice demo. He then said that data manipulation leads to exploration and navigation, which leads to problem solving.He also mentioned other visualization companies, such as Spotfire, Hivegroup, Attenex, and i2, with a screen shot from each of them. The sponsor of this session, Dow Jones, should have been happy when he also threw up a slide of Factiva’s Search 2.0.

In the question and answer part of the session, Brian mentioned an upcoming deal with Thomson Gale that will be unveiled (probably) during ALA.

Marydee Ojala

Editor, ONLINE: The Leading Magazine for Information Professionals, www.onlinemag.net

 

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