Visual Analytics Dashboard

The webLyzard visual analytics dashboard is an advanced information exploration and retrieval interface that helps to track and analyze emerging stories across sources. Its various components (= views) shown in the following screenshot provide access to a comprehensive content repository structured along geospatial, semantic and temporal dimensions (user actions in one of these views trigger an immediate update of all other views).

  1. PORTAL HEADER
    • The search field contains the current search together with the number of matching documents (using color-coding to reflect average sentiment). Using the rectangular marker on the left, users can decide whether the current search should be shown in the trend chart as a dotted line.
    • The main menus of the dashboard including configuration, data export  which also provides access to the PDF generator for A4 reports and 16:9 slides), and advanced search.
    • Two drop-downs allow selecting the date range and content sources (news media, social media, etc.) for the analysis, and a line chart that previews the results over a longer time span. The time interval (default: two months) is a global setting that not only affects the trend chart, but also limits search queries and dynamic visualizations to the chosen time interval. The interval can be specified by choosing a “from” and “to” date, or by selecting the past [n] weeks or months.
    • Below, the info bar either shows context-aware help texts, or a list of the most frequent sources or references to named entities (persons, organizations, locations).
  2. LEFT SIDEBAR
    • Associations. The upper left view of the dashboard displays a list keywords associated with the search term, considering the selected source and time interval. The sequence of terms is determined by the degree of semantic association. Users have the following options:
      • click on a label to activate the tooltip and either trigger (Replace) or refine (Restrict, Extend) a search, or to Exclude certain terms from the search results. This standard tooltip is available across various dashboard features, e.g. the visual tools listed below. It includes a line chart preview and keyword associations, and allows combining multiple searches or filtering results by metadata attribute (e.g., positive sentiment);
      • activate or deactivate markers (= small rectangles) to select terms to be shown in the charts or use the ‘chart’ icon shown on hover left of the “Associations” header to either select the first five items or deselect all.
    • Metadata. Underneath the associations, the left sidebar provides access to the metadata view that segments results by source, language or sentiment.
    • Bookmarks. This section helps to access and manage stored topics. On hover, a gear symbol points to an overlay menu to view, configure, rename or delete bookmarks, or to set email alerts.
  3. MAIN CONTENT AREA
    • Trend Charts. Interactive trend charts either show (i) the share of voice, a comparative measure of attention based on the relative number of mentions, (ii) the frequency of selected topics in the specified time interval, (iii) the average sentiment regarding these topics, or (iv) the level of disagreement, measuring how strongly the sentiment regarding this topic fluctuates. Setting a moving average (default: seven days) dampens the impact of short-term fluctuations and highlights longer-term trends.
    • Search Results. The section below the trend chart offers five main categories to show and analyze the search results: documents, sentences, sources, entities and relations. For each of this categories, multiple representations are available – typically at least one list view and one visualization (e.g., word tree, for sentences, or scatter plots for entities and sources). Interactive features in the ‘document’ and ‘sentence’ modes include: (i) mouse-over to preview documents; (ii) an initial click to select a document and show an extended quote; (iii) a second click to display the full text, which reveals the document’s annotations including keywords, location, sentiment, and relevance.
  4. RIGHT SIDEBAR
    • Maps and Visual Analytics. Various interactive tools help to explore the underlying knowledge base. To investigate topic associations, the dashboard provides a tag cloud (alphabetical structure) and a keyword graph (hierarchical structure). Additional visualizations include the geographic map to render the regional distribution of search results and the cluster map to show emerging stories (= sets of related documents).
    • Interactive Controls. Synchronized with each other, the maps can be selected via the “Configuration” menu and re-positioned using drag-and-drop operations. The ‘pause’ button in the upper right corner disables dynamic updates (e.g. automated zoom in the geographic map, or the node positioning in the keyword graph). Clicking on the ‘maximize’ button increases the size of a map and adapts the displayed content. Clicking on the ‘popup’ button opens the map in a separate browser window and allows using the system in multiple-screen configurations. Users can switch maps on and off via the configuration menu and re-arrange the layout by dragging them to the desired position.

Selected Publications