Friday, Feb 27, 2015
ARTICLE: When people work together to analyze a data set, they need to organize their findings, hypotheses, and evidence, share that information with their collaborators, and coordinate activities amongst team members. Sharing externalizations (recorded information such as notes) could increase awareness and assist with team communication and coordination. However, we currently know little about how to provide tool support for this sort of sharing. We explore how linked common work (LCW) can be employed within a ‘collaborative thinking space’, to facilitate synchronous collaborative sensemaking activities in Visual Analytics (VA). Collaborative thinking spaces provide an environment for analysts to record, organize, share and connect externalizations. Our tool, CLIP, extends earlier thinking spaces by integrating LCW features that reveal relationships between collaborators' findings. We conducted a user study comparing CLIP to a baseline version without LCW. Results demonstrated that LCW significantly improved analytic outcomes at a collaborative intelligence task. Groups using CLIP were also able to more effectively coordinate their work, and held more discussion of their findings and hypotheses. LCW enabled them to maintain awareness of each other's activities and findings and link those findings to their own work, preventing disruptive oral awareness notifications.