Using Collaborative Visual Analytics for Innovative Industry-inspired Learning Activities

Olivera Marjanovic, Business Information Systems, University of Sydney Business School, Sydney, NSW 2006 Australia


Inspired by leading industry practices, this paper describes an innovative learning activity designed to combine data visualisation and cross-functional collaboration supported by enterprise social media. The activity is structured around sharing, co-creation and negotiation of departmental/disciplinary insights across data silos, using both internal and external data. In addition to giving students access to state-of-the-art tools for visualisation (SAS-VA) and collaboration (Yammer), an even more important educational objective is to expose students to the complexities of deriving information (i.e. meaning) from enterprise-wide (meaning-free) data stored by business intelligence & analytics systems. This human-driven and human-centric process of making sense of data in context requires collaboration across functional silos, especially when dealing with complex multi-disciplinary challenges. Starting from an industry-informed business scenario, the paper describes the main steps of an innovative data visualisation and collaboration activity, discusses possible alternative software platforms and offers some ideas for the future work.