Information Systems Education Journal


V18 N6 Pages 4-12

Dec 2020

Real-Time Visual Analytics: An Experiential Learning Activity for Undergraduates

Paul Stephens
Bradley University
Peoria, IL USA

Jacob Young
Bradley University
Peoria, IL USA

Abstract: We describe a “Day of Giving” university fundraising event that can be used to introduce data visualization to undergraduate students. The project involves integrating data sources, creating a Tableau data model, and designing a heat map that can be embedded into a front-end website. Our case provides opportunities to discuss various technological concepts, such as: client/server networks, front end web development, backend database servers, database design, sources of data, data preparation and cleaning, data management, webhooks, real-time data collection, and visual analytics. For the purpose of this paper, we focus on concepts related to sources of data, real-time data collection, visual analytics, and webhooks, as well as security and ethics issues that arise from these activities. Throughout the paper we explain how instructors can choose to implement the activity as a mini-case during a single class session or as a team project over a longer period. Both approaches provide students with experiential learning opportunities in data analytics. First, we outline fundamental concepts for instructors to introduce at the start of the activity. Second, we describe the institution’s need for a heat map to display donation amounts by location in real-time. Third, we discuss the tools we used to feed data to the visualization. Fourth, we describe steps for instructors to follow to replicate the project. Lastly, we provide discussion points to explore security and ethics issues related to data analytics.

Download this article: ISEDJ - V18 N6 Page 4.pdf

Recommended Citation: Stephens, P., Young, J., (2020). Real-Time Visual Analytics: An Experiential Learning Activity for Undergraduates. Information Systems Education Journal18(6) pp 4-12. ISSN : ISSN: 1545-679X. A preliminary version appears in The Proceedings of EDSIGCON 2019