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Insight-centric Visualization Recommendation

by   Camille Harris, et al.

Visualization recommendation systems simplify exploratory data analysis (EDA) and make understanding data more accessible to users of all skill levels by automatically generating visualizations for users to explore. However, most existing visualization recommendation systems focus on ranking all visualizations into a single list or set of groups based on particular attributes or encodings. This global ranking makes it difficult and time-consuming for users to find the most interesting or relevant insights. To address these limitations, we introduce a novel class of visualization recommendation systems that automatically rank and recommend both groups of related insights as well as the most important insights within each group. Our proposed approach combines results from many different learning-based methods to discover insights automatically. A key advantage is that this approach generalizes to a wide variety of attribute types such as categorical, numerical, and temporal, as well as complex non-trivial combinations of these different attribute types. To evaluate the effectiveness of our approach, we implemented a new insight-centric visualization recommendation system, SpotLight, which generates and ranks annotated visualizations to explain each insight. We conducted a user study with 12 participants and two datasets which showed that users are able to quickly understand and find relevant insights in unfamiliar data.


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