Data Literacy from research to business

Johanna Schmidt is a data expert and head of the Visual Analytics research group at VRVis. In her research she puts a focus on the topic of data literacy. In this short interview she answers questions about the best data strategies for companies.

  • Many companies prefer to rely on in-house data analytics and set up their own departments for this purpose. Nevertheless, what are the arguments in favor of working with a research center such as VRVis?

Schmidt: The term "visualization" is in our company name - this clearly shows that it is one of our core businesses. We have been researching and developing data visualization technologies and solutions for over two decades. We can look back on successful use cases from over 10 industries. We have the necessary skills and experience with real-world data and can design data visualization to guarantee that the most important aspects can be analyzed from the data.

  • Are there any key lessons that can be learned from working with companies that you would like companies to take away for the future?

Schmidt: Reality shows that data quality and heterogeneity are a big problem. That is, data is often very scattered, has many duplicates, or is difficult to link together. Therefore, a key aspect is to get the data into the necessary form and to establish seamless data pipelines. We also still know too little about how people read data representations and which ones are particularly suitable for conveying information. More studies in this direction are therefore necessary and are planned by us.

  • Where is the journey heading in the future?

Schmidt: It is becoming apparent that more and more companies are turning to web-based solutions that are more and better aligned with the company's workflows. We support companies in precisely these steps: setting up efficient data pipelines that at the same time complement existing processes and applications.