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Getting Management and Team Buy-in for Early User Involvement

ianrobertspnnl United States
Getting the support necessary for early user involvement is always difficult but the domain of visual analytics seems to pose even more issues. Users are busy, the work they do is often proprietary and sometimes classified, and the tasks they do consume long periods of time. The way users currently work will change significantly once visual analytics tools are placed in their environment. Therefore, it is necessary to understand not only how users will use our specific tool, but also how the specific tool will impact the overall workflow.

Developers of visual analytics tool are most often not experts in the domain where the tools will be installed (finance, intelligence analysis, business intelligence, etc.) so it is important that they understand the impact of these new tools on their end-users. But how can the end-user organization be convinced that the extra costs (both money and end-user time) upfront will be valuable in the overall utility of the software?

Is early user involvement necessary for researchers? While we recognize that research software is just to get a concept across will the concept be more readily accepted if end-users are involved?
We hope that those involved in visual analytics research and development will use this forum to discuss issues such as:

• How to get buy-in from management
• Methods to use to maximize information from end-users while minimizing their time
• Success stories and best practices from the field

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