Towards Team-Centered Informatics: Accelerating Innovation in Multidisciplinary Scientific Teams Through Visual Analytics

Suresh Bhavnani, Shyam Visweswaran, Rohit Divekar, Allan R. Brasier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A critical goal of multidisciplinary scientific teams is to integrate knowledge from diverse disciplines for the purpose of developing novel insights and innovations. For example, multidisciplinary translational teams (MTTs) which typically include physicians, biologists, statisticians, and informaticians, aim to integrate biological and clinical knowledge leading to innovations for improving health outcomes. However, such teams face numerous barriers in integrating multidisciplinary knowledge, which is further exacerbated by the explosion of molecular and clinical data generated from millions of patients. Here, we explore the use of a visual analytical representation to help MTTs integrate molecular and clinical data with the goal of accelerating translational insights. The results suggest that the visual analytical representation functioned as a “computational evolving boundary object” which (a) evolved through several emergent states that progressively helped integrate diverse disciplinary knowledge, (b) enabled team members to play primary and supportive roles in evolving the data representation resulting in a more egalitarian team structure, and (c) enabled the team to arrive at novel translational insights leading to domain and methodology publications. However, the interventions also revealed limitations in the approach motivating new visual analytical approaches. These results suggest (a) implications for theory related to modeling computational evolving boundary objects (CEBOs) as an instance of team-centered informatics, and (b) implications for practice related to the design and use of interactive features that enable teams to fluidly evolve CEBOs through emergent states, with the goal of deriving novel insights from large multiomics datasets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Applied Behavioral Science
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

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Keywords

  • biomedical insights
  • computational evolving boundary objects
  • multidisciplinary scientific teams
  • team-centered informatics
  • visual analytics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

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