Pantazos, K., Tarkan, S., Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B. (April 2012)
Promoting Timely Completion of Multi-Step Processes - A Visual Approach to Retrospective Analysis
Multi-step processes are common in healthcare, software development,
and other dynamic environments. Managers who monitor
processes are overwhelmed by information, and often limited in
the time to investigate data from different viewpoints. We propose
a visual approach to facilitate retrospective analysis, to promote timely completion of multi-step processes, and improve performance.
It uses a novel visualization called the Process Completion
Diagram (PCD) that aggregates event-logs into in-time, late and
not-completed completions, and visualizes those using shapes and
colors. The interactive Multi-Step Process Visualization (MSPro-
Vis) combines a number of PCDs and allows users to review and
compare series of PCDs at three levels of detail, allowing comparisons
between steps or between actors executing those steps.
MSProVis computes default thresholds that define in-time and late
completions. These might trigger alarms, and allow managers to
adjust those thresholds interactively.
A pilot usability test with five participants showed that all participants
could learn how to read almost all the information presented
in the PCD without training in less than five minutes, and
use MSProVis effectively. They carried out nine tasks successfully,
which lasted on average seven minutes. Suggestions for improvement
include color usage, and label and shape positioning.
Index Terms: Visual Analytics, Process Completion Diagram,
Multi-Step Process Visualization.