Data visualization in exploratory environments

Lund / Full Time / Lund, Sweden

About Backtick

Backtick Technologies provides consultancy services in software engineering, data engineering, data science, artificial intelligence and related fields. Today, Backtick employs 12 engineers and has customers in the enterprise and startup world alike. In 2023, we’re building a state of the art data platform product, and we could use your help!

Project description

User experience within data visualization is a topic often overlooked by the very people working with data. We’ve grown accustomed to the fact that data representations oftentime turn out chaotic with little to no explanation of the thought process behind the visualization. There are several frameworks and visualization tools offering decent visualization possibilities, however none of them explains how to design a good visualization from a user's perspective and, given a specific data set or use case, why certain tools/features might be more suitable than others.

Visualizing large amounts of data comes with an obvious challenge - there is a lot to show on the screen. Getting an overview of a complex dataset requires looking at various plots and tables. We’d like to leverage the latest findings in cognitive and neural science together with clever UX design to make the experience better tailored towards our users. The main objective is to understand when to display what information and what visualization technique to use, inducing a feeling of effortlessness while keeping the functionality expected by most users.

Your task is to understand the main challenges when exploring a new data set, compile a set of objectives from the user’s perspective, examine these and find the most suitable way of achieving them with the help of available visualization techniques/tools. Your task is to compile a set of best practice guidelines for most common data exploration scenarios and data types, consisting of written explanations and visual components to showcase your findings.

You will work alongside a Backtick team developing a data platform launching next year. The team consists of several experienced data engineers, software developers and data scientists. The results of your work will serve as a basis for designing visual components of the platform. Research Questions Research questions are up to you. However, we’d like you to focus on the reasoning behind each solution from a cognitive and business perspective.

We suggest something along the lines of:

  • What information is most important to the user when exploring a data set?
  • What causes the most cognitive stress while trying to overview a new data set?
  • What visualization techniques are most suitable for different data types?

Who are we?

At Backtick, we’re a mix of innovators, software engineers, data engineers and data scientists. We’re a small consultancy company helping our customers go from data to production ready machine learning systems. We have an office in central Lund, and you are welcome to sit with us. Read more about us at backtick.se

Who are you?

You have a background in Computer Science, Information Technology, User Experience, Cognitive Science or alike. You’re a creative individual with an ability to narrow down abstract ideas into comprehensible and unambiguous concepts. You have a curious mind and are eager to learn.

Working and learning about the following technologies and tools excite you:

  • Figma
  • Sketch
  • Illustrator
  • React/JavaScript

Start date & duration

Jan/Feb/Mar 2023, 30 HP (~1 semester)

Apply

Introduce yourself in a few lines to:

Michal Stypa, CEO michal@backtick.se

Photos by:
Josefin Widell Hultgren