The Challenge of Big Data in Public Health: An Opportunity for Visual Analytics

Article Ola, O., & Sedig, K. (2014). The challenge of big data in public health: An opportunity for visual analytics. Online Journal of Public Health Informatics, 5(3), 223. Public health data can be characterized as big data and stakeholders in this domain interact with data and engage in various cognitive activities such as: analytical reasoning decision-making interpreting problem solving Historically, Public Health has lagged behind other sectors in embracing new computational technology. This paper discusses the role that VA tools can play in addressing the challenges presented by big data in public health. Consider Volume, Variety, Velocity of PH data Current Visual Analytic tools in Public Health Health Assessment (i.e. twitter to estimate flu activity faster) Policy Development (i.e. tools that can help PH stakehodlers explore the complex interactions of various policy options in an interactive fashion facilitating the use of policy development) Assurance (i.e. activities such as enforcing health laws and policies, communicating with the public, managing health resources,educating the health workforce, and evaluating the effectiveness and accessibility of health services. Scenario - analytical reasoning tasks of a regional epidemiologist dealing with WNV outbreak VA tools can facilitate collaboration, coordinate internal representations with external representations, and efficiently provide comprehensible assessments to stakeholders. VA tools flexibility allows for customization of the tool to cater to the cognitive, perceptual, and contextual needs of the diverse PH workforce.