From data to knowledge: Tableau dashboards as boundary objects in the knowledge ecology of a university

Kruger, A. Ian (2017) From data to knowledge: Tableau dashboards as boundary objects in the knowledge ecology of a university. Masters thesis, Middlesex University.

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Abstract

Information dashboards are increasingly important tools for organisations, helping them exploit data as an asset and make informed decisions. Existing visualisation design research stemming from the cognitive and perception sciences has tended to focus on the cognitive augmenting benefits of information visualizations for the individual in trying to accomplish a task, and make recommendations for design based on perceptual and cognitive principles. However, understanding the use to which information visualisations (in this case dashboards) are put in the management and operations of a large hierarchical bureaucracy that typify the modern organisation responding to complex and dynamic environments, is important for gaining insights that will guide their design, adoption and adaption in these organisations. An ethnographic inspired study was performed at a University who were in the process of adopting Tableau as a management reporting tool, during a period in which there were significant changes to HE environment. The study reports on the evolution of the dashboards, as mediating artefacts, in which the social process of designing takes place. Significantly, allowing communities of knowing to be intimately involved in the building of their own dashboards (through the concept of self-service) allows the dashboards to support the social sense-making roles of “perspective making and perspective taking”. The extent to which the dashboards are able to achieve this is the extent to which they are deemed useful in transforming data into effective actionable knowledge.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Computer Science
B. > Theses
Item ID: 22306
Depositing User: Jennifer Basford
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2017 09:53
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2017 09:53
URI: http://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/22306

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