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Data expression : understanding and supporting alternatives in data analysis processes

Abstract : To make sense of data, analysts consider different kinds of alternatives: they explore diverse sets of hypotheses, try out different types of methods, and experiment with a broad space of possible solutions. These alternatives influence each other within a dynamic and complex sensemaking process. Current analytic tools, however, rarely consider such alternatives as an integral part of the analysis, making the process cumbersome and cognitively demanding. Applying various empirical methods and tool designs, we address the following questions: (1) What are alternatives and how do they fit within the sensemaking process?And (2) how can tools better support the exploration and management of alternatives? This dissertation contains three parts: Part I explores the role of alternatives through interviews and observations with analysts. Based on the results and our analysis, we contribute characterisations of alternatives and a framework to help describe and reason about them. Part II focuses on supporting alternatives in the context of affinity diagramming for qualitative data analysis. Through interviews with practitioners and combined with our own experience, we propose a design space to characterise the various kinds of alternatives engaged in such sensemaking process.We further provide a vision and proof-of-concept system, ADQDA, to show how analysts can fluidly transition between alternative analysis phases, methods, representations, and how they can flexibly appropriate various devices to suit for the tasks at hand or to extend the analysis space. Part III discusses alternatives in the context of reuse. We envision a novel reuse technique, ”computational transclusion”, which maintains various dynamic links between the original and the reused contents (the alternatives) to facilitate tracking and coordinating changes.We built a sandbox system to probe into different reuse scenarios and explore the various links between alternatives and their possible reifications in notebook-ish user interface.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, February 16, 2022 - 2:29:08 PM
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Jiali Liu. Data expression : understanding and supporting alternatives in data analysis processes. Human-Computer Interaction [cs.HC]. Institut Polytechnique de Paris, 2021. English. ⟨NNT : 2021IPPAT022⟩. ⟨tel-03577013⟩

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