Taste Graph: A narrative visualization tool for massive media data

Traditional newspapers are moving dramatically to digital publishing and data analytics in order to better understand their users’ behaviors, build their subscriber base, maintain their online readers, determine advertising placements. The goal is to deepen and diversify their revenue streams. For this purpose, VAL's Taste Graph research analyzes and synthesis the Globe and Mail data about their subscribers and their web-browsing habits, indicating connections between tastes.

Discovering affinities across different categories is a promising method of segmenting the audience within the context of media planning and potential advertising campaigns. For example, if someone shops for organic vegetables they might be more likely to shop to organic tea. Also, if data indicates close affinities between the categories of organic clothes and organic foods, it is reasonable that a purchaser of both organic vegetable and tea packs will be interested in shopping for an organic cotton shirt if they are provided with a choice to pick a shirt. As well, the people within the taste category  ‘organic’ could also be interested in certain types of drinks, types of shoes, and a sports travel lifestyle.

To establish similar taste correlations within Globe and Mail data, we follow a “narrative approach” that helps tell stories with the data by providing a smooth transition from raw data to communicating through data visualization. The tool we are developing supports the Globe and Mail marketing teams. Firstly, it provides an easy way to filter multiple sources of data and find relationships. Secondly, it shows patterns regarding Globe and Mail audience tastes in customized narrative visualizations. From these, the marketing teams could gain holistic knowledge about their audience tastes and see the impact of certain taste correlations or become aware of some hidden insights of interest regarding relationships between tastes. Thirdly, it allows Globe and Mail people to remain continuously knowledgeable about their business performance measures.

Our organization of the design space involves two types of narrative tactics: visual and structural. For visual tactics, we deploy several visual mechanisms that assist and facilitate the narrative. We chose a bubble chart, and grouped bar chart to illustrate, evaluate, and compare tastes, scores and engagement levels. Colour is then applied to different categories of advertisements to indicate degrees of divergence in tastes. We depend on navigation strategies as a structural tactic to assist the narrative. For example, we arrange the paths the viewer might take through the visualizations, and we make the visualizations interactive by including filtering, selecting, searching, and navigating of advertisement data. These strategies are tested and refined with Globe and Mail design and marketing teams and will then be audience tested.

Our visualization tool, in general, respects secure web application standards. Our goal is to provide the Globe and Mail with intuitive reports about the overall and manifold correlations of tastes of their readership and advertising audiences. Our proposed tool handles the complexity of massive and heterogeneous marketing data records and translates it into a communicative interface.

See a preview of TasteGraph from the IEEE Computer Society Visualization and Graphics Technical Committee VIS2018 here.

Click here to see Ahmad Karawash presenting this research at the Ontario OAR Conference, May 16 2018.
Click here to view this project on SOSCIP's page.

This research was presented by Dr. Ahmad Karawash, Postdoctoral Fellow and Team Lead, and Sana Shepko at the Ontario Centres of Excellence annual Discovery conference on May 1st, 2018 (see below).
 

Image of interactive tool, showing a graphical comparison of universe vs. specific category's engagement with taste groups
Photograph of Ahmad Karawash and Sana Shepko attending Discovery 2018 conference to present research.
Friday, May 18, 2018 - 10:45am
Lab Member: 
Ahmad Karawash
Marcus A. Gordon
Jad Rabbaa
Sana Shepko
Afrooz Samaei
Lan-Xi Dong
Dr. Greice C. Mariano
Hugh Ritchie
Ana Jofre
Stephen Keller
Dr. Steve Szigeti
Dr. Sara Diamond

Karin Von ompteda

Karin von Ompteda is a designer/researcher/educator working in areas where disciplines converge. Her background is in both science and design, having undertaken an MSc Biology, BDes Graphic Design, and currently completing a PhD Visual Communication. Karin's doctoral research is focused on integrating scientific and design approaches to typeface legibility, with a particular interest in low vision readers. Working with data plays a central role in her research, practice, and teaching.

New Digital Futures undergraduate major launches next fall at OCAD University

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - 5:15pm

(Toronto—October 25, 2011) A new digital media undergraduate program allowing students to specialize in areas such as business innovation, data visualization, health and wellness and gaming is coming to OCAD University next fall.

The Digital Futures: Technology/Innovation/Design/Art (DF:TIDA) undergraduate program links digital technology and innovation with Design and Art studio practice. Students will graduate with either a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) or a Bachelor of Design (BDes), with a specialization in digital media and related technologies. Prospective students can apply for the program now through the Ontario Universities Application Centre for the 2012/13 academic year.

"The Digital Futures undergraduate program links multiple studio-based digital media concentrations in the Faculty of Art and Faculty of Design, augmenting our existing curriculum with new courses that reflect the expertise and skills of the university's new faculty engaged in research and digital practice," explained OCAD University President, Dr. Sara Diamond. "With the launch of our Digital Futures Masters program in September 2011, and our Digital Futures research program, this new undergraduate major represents the full realization of the Digital Futures Initiative at OCAD University."

DF:TIDA students are able to specialize in one of five areas:

  • Physical Computing
  • Games
  • Data Visualisation
  • Inclusive Design
  • Business

Students in the DF:TIDA program will acquire skills in computation, physical computing, data visualization, screen-based media, gaming, and business, and will be well-positioned to work across the digital media sector from either art, design or critical perspectives.

BACKGROUND:

Digital Futures: Technology/Innovation/Design/Art (DF:TIDA)
A compete program overview and course guide is available on the OCAD University website.

The Digital Futures Initiative at OCAD University
The launch of OCAD University's Digital Futures Initiative in May of 2007 was made possible through a transformative $2 million annual investment by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities that OCAD University leveraged with support from industrial partners and other provincial and federal ministries.

The Digital Futures Initiative supports student learners to become entrepreneurial and research leaders in a future world of ubiquitous digital technology and communication, as well as enabling them to master contemporary digital skills. Drawing on faculty from across the university and working in collaboration with a broad range of Canadian and international private and public sector partners, the Digital Futures Initiative (DFI) is a set of new cross-disciplinary programs, research, and innovation activities. Minors, a major, a suite of graduate programs and continuing education offerings are providing learning opportunities in digital art, media and design, and ICT, linking this knowledge to emerging technologies with applications in fields such as art/design and science, sustainability, health and wellness, accessibility, diversity, and global innovation and business development.

Key milestones have included:

  • Enhancement and modernization of OCAD University's curriculum: minors, a major and a suite of graduate programs are now offered:
    Digital Futures: Technology/Innovation/Design/Art (DF:TIDA) - BFA, BDes;
    Master's in Inclusive Design (MDes); and
    Digital Futures Graduate program (MA, MDes, MFA, Graduate Diploma);
  • Hiring of six new faculty who are digital leaders and additional hiring of digital experts in other program areas;
  • OCAD University has established has launched successful research and commercialization partnerships, leveraging funding from MTCU (including an additional 7.5 in capital funding) and MRI (9 million) to create the Institute for Digital Media Research and Innovation;
  • Roll-out of Digital Infrastructure across the campus and integration of Digital Tools and teaching methods into all aspects of curriculum;
  • Launch of the Centre for Innovation in Arts & Design Education (CIADE);
  • The multi-institutional/multi-industry Inclusive Design Institute led by OCAD U's Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) of 25 researchers;
  • Launch of the Mobile Experience Innovation Centre (MEIC), a public-private not-for-profit consortium that brings together students and faculty from OCAD U and other universities and colleges with industry leaders in the quest for groundbreaking digital mobile applications.
  • Acquisition of digital resources for teaching and learning
  • Acceleration of online and blended learning.

 

OCAD University (OCAD U): 135 Years of Imagination
OCAD University (www.ocad.ca) is Canada’s “University of the Imagination.” The University, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

- 30 -

Download this release as a PDF file.

For more information contact:

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer
416-977-6000 Ext. 327 (mobile Ext. 1327) 

New Digital Futures undergraduate major launches next fall at OCAD University

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - 4:00am

(Toronto—October 25, 2011) A new digital media undergraduate program allowing students to specialize in areas such as business innovation, data visualization, health and wellness and gaming is coming to OCAD University next fall.

The Digital Futures: Technology/Innovation/Design/Art (DF:TIDA) undergraduate program links digital technology and innovation with Design and Art studio practice. Students will graduate with either a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) or a Bachelor of Design (BDes), with a specialization in digital media and related technologies. Prospective students can apply for the program now through the Ontario Universities Application Centre for the 2012/13 academic year.

"The Digital Futures undergraduate program links multiple studio-based digital media concentrations in the Faculty of Art and Faculty of Design, augmenting our existing curriculum with new courses that reflect the expertise and skills of the university's new faculty engaged in research and digital practice," explained OCAD University President, Dr. Sara Diamond. "With the launch of our Digital Futures Masters program in September 2011, and our Digital Futures research program, this new undergraduate major represents the full realization of the Digital Futures Initiative at OCAD University."

DF:TIDA students are able to specialize in one of five areas:

  • Physical Computing
  • Games
  • Data Visualisation
  • Inclusive Design
  • Business

Students in the DF:TIDA program will acquire skills in computation, physical computing, data visualization, screen-based media, gaming, and business, and will be well-positioned to work across the digital media sector from either art, design or critical perspectives.

BACKGROUND:

Digital Futures: Technology/Innovation/Design/Art (DF:TIDA)
A compete program overview and course guide is available on the OCAD University website.

The Digital Futures Initiative at OCAD University
The launch of OCAD University's Digital Futures Initiative in May of 2007 was made possible through a transformative $2 million annual investment by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities that OCAD University leveraged with support from industrial partners and other provincial and federal ministries.

The Digital Futures Initiative supports student learners to become entrepreneurial and research leaders in a future world of ubiquitous digital technology and communication, as well as enabling them to master contemporary digital skills. Drawing on faculty from across the university and working in collaboration with a broad range of Canadian and international private and public sector partners, the Digital Futures Initiative (DFI) is a set of new cross-disciplinary programs, research, and innovation activities. Minors, a major, a suite of graduate programs and continuing education offerings are providing learning opportunities in digital art, media and design, and ICT, linking this knowledge to emerging technologies with applications in fields such as art/design and science, sustainability, health and wellness, accessibility, diversity, and global innovation and business development.

Key milestones have included:

  • Enhancement and modernization of OCAD University's curriculum: minors, a major and a suite of graduate programs are now offered:
    Digital Futures: Technology/Innovation/Design/Art (DF:TIDA) - BFA, BDes;
    Master's in Inclusive Design (MDes); and
    Digital Futures Graduate program (MA, MDes, MFA, Graduate Diploma);
  • Hiring of six new faculty who are digital leaders and additional hiring of digital experts in other program areas;
  • OCAD University has established has launched successful research and commercialization partnerships, leveraging funding from MTCU (including an additional 7.5 in capital funding) and MRI (9 million) to create the Institute for Digital Media Research and Innovation;
  • Roll-out of Digital Infrastructure across the campus and integration of Digital Tools and teaching methods into all aspects of curriculum;
  • Launch of the Centre for Innovation in Arts & Design Education (CIADE);
  • The multi-institutional/multi-industry Inclusive Design Institute led by OCAD U's Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) of 25 researchers;
  • Launch of the Mobile Experience Innovation Centre (MEIC), a public-private not-for-profit consortium that brings together students and faculty from OCAD U and other universities and colleges with industry leaders in the quest for groundbreaking digital mobile applications.
  • Acquisition of digital resources for teaching and learning
  • Acceleration of online and blended learning.

 

OCAD University (OCAD U): 135 Years of Imagination
OCAD University (www.ocad.ca) is Canada’s “University of the Imagination.” The University, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

- 30 -

Download this release as a PDF file.

For more information contact:

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer
416-977-6000 Ext. 327 (mobile Ext. 1327)