One specific tool the National Visualization and Analytics Center (NVAC) proposes is a snippet widget that allows the writer of the report to collect information at the time of research that may be in the form of evidence or other important information. This also includes how the information was discovered. These snippets are then combined together for the report to make a coherent argument or story. Instead of having to retrace and reanalyze the information, this snippet widget will free up time that can be spent on organizing and refining the report. Additionally, the reports generated from the snippet widget and the refining process can be placed into style sheets. These style sheets allow for the document to be easily transferred between different forms of reports including websites, analytic reports, or even blog sites. These can also be edited by others (if the writer wishes) in order to improve the document or adjust information. This eliminates the time spent making each document tailored to a specific person in a specific style.
Critique:I really liked reading about the articles in this edition, as well as skimming other editions. I think a lot of the products and articles they put forth are easily understandable and make great points about how visual analytics is improving. This article in particular really speaks to what we hope to do here at Mercyhurst University (or are at least trying to do). It's about making a report that a decision maker wants to read and doing it in a timely manner. I think this is an excellent idea and could really help improve the report writing and publication process of reports. Additionally, this report briefly mentions the four criteria for creating these new reports. The third requirement- making products interactive- really emphasizes what I feel is the future of report writing. Decision makers are not going to just want to read a report- they are going to want to visually see how different factors are working or perhaps even receive the document in a video news bulletin form. By having a tool that help integrate all of these specifications in a timely fashion is an excellent research endeavor to tackle.
One of the drawbacks mentioned is that there needs to be a research community established that is willing to help improve documents when requested. I agree that this is a drawback, however, the idea of having a document that is easily convertible and accurately sourced without much additional effort is a huge value in itself. To be able to write a report and never have to create your own presentation for it, but instead just tweak an already made report would save a lot of time.
Lastly, when I first began to read this article I figured it would focus a lot on how to make charts and figures look more appealing. I think this is also something that needs to be worked on, however, a report that can convert itself into a different type of report while maintaining citations is bigger time saver than adding different graphs.
May II, R. (2008). VAC Views - May 2008. Retrieved from http://readthis.pnl.gov/marketsource/readthis/B3065_not_print_quality.pdf