Be the Data

Leanna House. Dept of Statistics, Virginia Tech

We promote creative interactive data exploration through a novel combination of physical and virtual worlds that is rooted in Bayesian thinking. We assert that data exploration, and the necessary understanding of the complex analytical methods behind data exploration, is stymied by its traditional strict limitation to the virtual world; human understanding takes place naturally in the physical world and is often reinforced by social engagement. Thus, we merged our work in interactive data exploration methods with a motion traction system in the Institute for Creative Arts and Technology, Virginia Tech to develop Be the Data. In Be the Data, analysts (as young as second grade) embody data points and, together, explore high-dimensional data both physically and virtually by moving about the room. Movements are tracked and projected above the participants based on a dynamic version of Weighted Multidimensional Scaling that was inspired by our original work in Bayesian Visual Analytics (BaVA). In this talk, I will present Be the Data, including it’s foundations, implementations, and benefits.