By Ross Perez 2010/01/07

The University of Washington eScience Institute has been tasked with facilitating data-intensive research at the University across all scientific disciplines. Using Tableau, they have been able to create visualizations that have increased the visibility and utility of their colleagues' data, leading to some interesting insights. Explore the workbooks below to get a glimpse into how Tableau is beginning to be used at a leading research institution.

Resource Utilization for Environmental Genomics (Armbrust Lab)

The workbook below was devised as a way to monitor usage of computational resources at the Armbrust Lab, a research lab in the Oceanography Department at the University of Washington that studies the microbiology of the oceans using a variety of laboratory and computational methods.

A frequent task is genomic analysis using a BLAST search on an 8-node compute cluster. Each BLAST job is used to search a huge database of known DNA sequences to find those that are similar to a given DNA sequence. Using this workbook, the bioinformatics staff can quickly assess which users rely on the service and which databases they are using. This information has lead to changes in resource provisioning to increase utilization and, in turn, productivity of the lab. Better yet, this visualization can be posted to the web, as we see here, to communicate the information to all researchers.

STDs, HIV, and High-Risk Behavior (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease)

The viz below displays the relationship between high-risk behaviors and STD infections using data collected from the HIV Network for Prevention Trials. The study was carried out by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and its sub-contractors, one of which is the University of Washington. The viz highlights and quantifies the increased risk associated with, say, prostitution and drug use.

Many thanks to Bill Howe and the eScience Institute for giving us an insight into their portfolio of science visualizations.



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