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Visual Analytics Certificate (VAC) course

Hosted by Indiana University Cyberinfrastructure for Network Science Center

Event Details

Monday, January 18, 2021
12:00 AM - , ,
700 N. Woodlawn Ave. Luddy Hall, Suite 4020 , Bloomington, 47408

Event Description

2021 Visual Analytics Certificate (VAC) Course: Jan 18-Feb 28
The 6-week Visual Analytics Certificate (VAC) course is offered by the Cyberinfrastructure for Network Science Center (CNS) in the Indiana University Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering. Students who have taken the VAC course learn to convert complex data into actionable knowledge that informs real-world decision making. Additionally, students learn to more effectively communicate insights across a variety of business and government settings.

Previous students from the Department of Energy, Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Crane Division, The Boeing Company, Eli Lilly and Company, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Health and Human Services, among others, have utilized the MyProject component of the VAC course to analyze, visualize, and understand data.

Project topics submitted from recent VAC students include:
COVID-19 Impact on NSWC Crane Work Behaviors
Supply Chain Management Strategies
Software Development Optimization Methods
Workforce Training Support Opportunities
Student Debt in America
Stockpile Operations Staffing for COVID-19
Trends of Health Data Standards in Healthcare Environments
Retirement Cities of Interest
Hispanic Cancer Mortality
Staffed Hospital Bed Availability
Traffic Patterns in Alaska Over Time
EPA Air Quality Consequent to Forest Fire Consumption of Townships

“The weekly curriculum was iterative and broad enough to keep me motivated while also allowing me to continue performing my professional responsibilities. For me, the course was excellent at delivering the theoretical framework for data-driven decision making using the Data Visualization Language framework.” Jonathan Dilger, director of research at the NSWC, Crane Division

“As a User Experience Researcher, a large part of my job is to clearly communicate my research findings and tell stories with the data. This course has given me a clear framework and methodology for creating more meaningful and useful data visualizations. Now I feel like I can hold a decent data vis conversation with the analysts I work with, enabling better collaboration and more innovative ways to share my research insights.” Mandy Sellers, UX Researcher & Designer, Eli Lilly and Company

“By taking COVID-19 relevant data for staffing, deploying staff to hot spots, tracking & the usage of PPE by states & territories, along with other related data that were required for the federal response and turning the data into a visualization/interactive graph, this visualization project will be used by all levels of operations.”

“I have been tasked with developing a new work team that will interact with many other work teams in different agencies and at different levels of government. This course has given me the skills to better provide visualization products that will make it easier to communicate the interactions among these work teams. This course has also given me the ability to develop more effective products for that work team as it relates to communicating results to other teams and agencies.”

“Through learning the different types of visual displays, it will help display data in scientific disclosures whether it be abstracts/posters/ manuscripts. Most recently we are being asked to display data in a digital format, which allows for more temporal displays and also animated displays. I am hoping I am able to use the tools introduced here to help with this.”

“We already are having better quality discussions with other advanced analytics groups around the support needs for my research groups. I can now have a conversation with more confidence and clearly articulate the needs by laying out the argument with the visualization framework in mind.”

"The foundational element of the course is the Data Visualization Language (DVL) Framework. The DVL provides a consistent set of terms and flow for determining the appropriate visualization for data. This also includes the kind of analyses that need be performed for realize a visualization. The importance of the DVL framework cannot be overstated. Without this consistent mindset among practitioners, people cannot communicate needs and designs. They are then either reduced to lowest order tools and outputs (i.e. power point slides with data tables and bar or pie charts), or, spend extra time building customized translations and even ontologies for the present effort. The DVL is transportable, consistent, flexible, and extensible."

“I now have the opportunity to make these visualizations interactive which invites more collaboration and influence. I learned how to analyze stakeholder insights to decide which visualization will be best for a particular scenario.”

“Learning about the different visualization types was very helpful. This knowledge will be helpful in developing workflow for analysis and presentation of results.”

Visual Analytics Certificate News:
IU visual analytics course leverages power of data for business, government partners
Empowered by Data Visualizations: Career-Changing Training in Visual Analytics


$950 for 6-week course


For more information on the VAC course, please contact Nancy Ruschman, CNS program manager, at


For nearly 20 years the mission of the Cyberinfrastructure for Network Science Center has been to advance datasets, tools, and services for the study of biomedical, social and behavioral science, physics, and other networks. A specific focus is research on the structure and evolution of science and technology (S&T) and the communication of results via static and interactive maps of science (learn more at More information on CNS may be found here: