Information Visualization, vol. 16, issue 3 (2017) pp. 232-256
Visualization has become an important ingredient of data analysis, supporting users in exploring data and confirming hypotheses. At the beginning of a visual data analysis process, data characteristics are often assessed in an initial data profiling step. These include, for example, statistical properties of the data and information on the data’s well-formedness, which can be used during the subsequent analysis to adequately parametrize views and to highlight or exclude data items. We term this information data descriptors, which can span such diverse aspects as the data’s provenance, its storage schema, or its uncertainties. Gathered descriptors encapsulate basic knowledge about the data and can thus be used as objective starting points for the visual analysis process. In this article, we bring together these different aspects in a systematic form that describes the data itself (e.g. its content and context) and its relation to the larger data gathering and visual analysis process (e.g. its provenance an...
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