Interactive Visual Data Analysis

Christian Tominski and Heidrun Schumann
AK Peters Visualization Series
CRC Press

"The purpose of computing is insight, not numbers."
– Richard Hamming

About the Book

In the age of big data, being able to make sense of data is an important key to success. Interactive Visual Data Analysis advocates the synthesis of visualization, interaction, and automatic computation to facilitate insight generation and knowledge crystallization from large and complex data.

The book provides a systematic and comprehensive overview of visual, interactive, and analytical methods. It introduces criteria for designing interactive visual data analysis solutions, discusses factors influencing the design, and examines the involved processes. The reader is made familiar with the basics of visual encoding and gets to know numerous visualization techniques for multivariate data, temporal data, geo-spatial data, and graph data. A dedicated chapter introduces general concepts for interacting with visualizations and illustrates how modern interaction technology can facilitate the visual data analysis in many ways. Addressing today’s large and complex data, the book covers relevant automatic analytical computations to support the visual data analysis. The book also sheds light on advanced concepts for visualization in multi-display environments, user guidance during the data analysis, and progressive visual data analysis.

The authors present a top-down perspective on interactive visual data analysis with a focus on concise and clean terminology. Many real-world examples and rich illustrations make the book accessible to a broad interdisciplinary audience from students, to experts in the field, to practitioners in data-intensive application domains.


  • Dedicated to the synthesis of visual, interactive, and analysis methods
  • Systematic top-down view on visualization, interaction, and automatic analysis
  • Broad coverage of fundamental and advanced visualization techniques
  • Comprehensive chapter on interacting with visual representations
  • Extensive integration of automatic computational methods
  • Accessible portrayal of cutting-edge visual analytics technology
  • Foreword by Jarke van Wijk


Christian Tominski and Heidrun Schumann give an excellent, encompassing introduction to concepts and techniques for the visual analysis of data. Their book stands out for its concise, integrated coverage of the main approaches for visual representation of and interaction with data, and automatic data analysis support. The work is very accessible and very well suited for classroom use. It is also an inspiring read for practitioners who wish to apply visual data analysis techniques to solve problems in business, engineering, science, and many other domains.

– Professor Tobias Schreck, Institute of Computer Graphics and Knowledge Visualization, Graz University of Technology

There is something sublime in the interplay between images and interaction. As a long-time student of visualization research, it seems to me that visualization for data analysis only comes into its own when interaction and visuals are seamlessly blended and supported with appropriate computational resources. Tominski and Schumann's Interactive Visual Data Analysis captures the essence of this rich synergy perfectly by showing how modern interactive visual analysis systems can be designed and built. For this reason, this book fills an important need for both students and practitioners looking to learn that most powerful yet elusive of data visualization concepts: visual analytics. I highly recommend this book, and will be looking to adopt it for my own visual analytics classes.

– Professor Niklas Elmqvist, College of Information Studies, University of Maryland

The new book by C. Tominski and H. Schumann is a highlight: a concise, thorough and systematic introductory book on visualization with its links to data analysis and interaction. It is obviously based on the substantial experience of the authors in research and solving real-world problems. The tight connection between visual interfaces and visualization techniques is discussed in an impressive manner, including recent interaction styles and devices. Careful discussions of many visualization techniques enable the reader to critically analyze existing visualizations and to design appropriate and effective visualizations. The book is compact, and it provides orientation and guidance by a clear structure. It is also motivating, among others based on a careful selection of convincing figures. I will strongly recommend the book to the students of my bachelor course on visualization.

– Professor Bernhard Preim, Department of Simulation and Graphics, Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg

What a joy! A book on Interactive Data Analysis was long overdue! The research community has produced a wealth of knowledge and techniques in the last 20 years that are not necessarily known to students, instructors and practitioners. This knowledge is for the most buried in hard to find papers and conference presentations. Tominski and Schumann, acknowledged scholars in the field, arranged brilliantly this whole set of principles, methods, and techniques in an intuitive and easy to read framework. I am looking forward to sharing this book with my colleagues and my students!

– Professor Enrico Bertini, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, New York University Tandon School of Engineering

Publisher Links

Bibliographic Information

  author    = {Christian Tominski and Heidrun Schumann},
  title     = {{Interactive Visual Data Analysis}},
  year      = {2020},
  series    = {AK Peters Visualization Series},
  publisher = {CRC Press},
  isbn      = {9781498753982},
  doi       = {10.1201/9781315152707},
  url       = {},