The Professional Ecology of Visualization

Industry perspective

What I do?

Flickr stats
Mockup mobile stats
Flickr photos by color
White house photos
Flickr prototype


  • Access to billions of users
  • Access to data
  • Access to computing power
  • No grant proposals (usually)
  • Many real world problems to work on


  • Literally millions of users
  • Chance to create real impact



  • Development grids
  • Countless VMs on demmand
  • Option of real world deployments

No grants writing

  • Nor teaching

Problems to work

  • Users requests
  • Engineer's requests
  • Unused datasets

Good Haiku

Industry research

We have the big data

and the users too


  • Access to users
  • Restrictions on data
  • Quaterly results, and revenue driven
  • Engineering oriented
  • Internal facing
  • Bigger consequences
  • Intellectual Property

Access to users

  • Users behind a sales firewall
  • Company wants to avoid spam

Restrictions on data

  • Users' privacy is a serious issue
  • Company wants to avoid spamimg users

Quaterly results, and revenue driven

  • Results measured by quarters
  • Is your research impacting product?
  • How is your research generating revenue?
  • You have to be two quarters ahead of development

Engineering oriented

  • A PhD is "an engineer with an ego"
  • You are required to write code like an engineer
  • You spend most of your time consulting

Internal facing

  • Infovis is usually restricted to internal use
  • PMs think that infovis is to complicated for users

Bigger consequences

  • "Change it back!!"
  • One mistake can jeopardize the company's reputation

Intellectual Property

  • Companies want to patent everything
  • If it is critical for the company you cannot publish

Bad Haiku

Industry research

PhDs with big egos

money rules it all

Take home message

Advantages Disadvantages
Users Access to users
Data Restrictions on data
Computing power Revenue oriented
Focused Engineering oriented
Real world problems Internal facing
Bigger consequences
IP issues

John Alexis Guerra Gómez