The VisInPractice associated event at IEEE VIS 2021 will feature four panels on the practice of visualization.

The VisInPractice program is an opportunity for visualization practitioners and researchers to meet and share experiences, insights, and ideas in applying data visualization and visual analytics to real use cases. Our goal is to acknowledge successful transfers of visualization research into applications as well as current visualization practices in industry.


VisInPractice will take place virtually on Monday, October 25, 2021 between 8:00 and 15:30 Central Daylight Time (GMT -5) In the #royal livestream track and Discord channel. More info on the Virtual IEEE VIS conference site (conference registration required).

Panel 1: Moving between Academia and Industry

Panel 1: Moving between Academia and Industry (moderated by Zhicheng Leo Liu), 8:00 CDT.

Many of us attending IEEE VIS have spent our entire careers in either academia or industry, and sometimes wonder about the grass being greener on the other side. In this panel we bring together four panelists who have experiences in both academia and industry to discuss various topics related to moving between the two sectors. Why does one move back and forth? In what ways are academia and industry similar or different? What are the differences between research labs and product teams in the industry? What affects one’s movability from one place to another?

The panelists include Hank Childs (University of Oregon), Miguel Encarnação (Regions Financial Corporation and University of Iowa), Melanie Tory (Northeastern University) and Jian Zhao (University of Waterloo).

Panel 2: Tools of the Trade

Panel 2: Tools of the Trade (moderated by Sean McKenna), 10:00 CDT.

Today, data visualization practitioners are flooded with a barrage of different tools at their disposal, from libraries (D3) to applications (Tableau, Power BI) to entire platforms (Observable, Jupyter). How do we manage it all? Come explore and discuss this space with industry practitioners and experts that consume with these tools and build new tools on a daily basis. What limitations and trade-offs are there when selecting between different tools for different audiences? How can we promote stronger engagement between researchers and practitioners as we build these tools? What upcoming challenges will we face with the next generation of data vis tools?

The panelists include: Zan Armstrong (Observable), Stephanie Kirmer (project44), Nicolas Kruchten (Plotly), and Krist Wongsuphasawat (Airbnb).

Panel 3: Practioner Collaborations

Panel 3: Practioner Collaborations (moderated by Matt Larsen), 12:00 CDT.

Many IEEE VIS attendees are visualization experts that know the tools of the trade well, but for practitioners (i.e., domain scientists), the wealth of tools and techniques available can be overwhelming. Collaborations between visualization experts and domain scientists can have large payoffs, but the collaboration process is challenging. Overcoming different vocabularies, conflicting goals, and overcoming misconceptions are just of few of the challenges faced by both sides of the collaboration. In this panel, we discuss the collaboration process and associated challenges featuring five panelists on both sides: visualization experts and domains scientists. What are the key challegnes of the collaboration process? What were the biggest collaboration successes and failures? How can we effectively overcome language barriers?

The panelists include: Cyrus Harrison (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory), Janine Bennett_ (Sandia National Laboratory), Axel Huebl (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory), Renata Raidou (TU Wien), and Steve Morley (Los Alamos National Laboratory).

Panel 4: Writing About Visualization

Panel 4: Writing About Visualization (moderated by Matthew Brehmer), 14:00 CDT.

While IEEE VIS attendees are accustomed to reading and writing academic papers about data visualization, they may be less familiar with non-academic writing dedicated to the subject, writing that is intended primarily for audiences of visualization practitioners. This panel brings together the editors of four unique publications, each with a unique format and set of perspectives on visualization. The panelists include Mary Aviles (editor of Nightingale (Journal of the Data Visualization Society)), Tiziana Alocci & Piero Zagami (co-founders of of Market Cafe Magazine), Christian Miles (editor of the Source / Target graph newsletter), and Danielle Szafir (editor of Multiple Views: Visualization Research Explained). Our discussion of publication origin stories and lessons learned will inspire VIS attendees to consider alternative publications, audiences, and formats for communicating their work.

The VisInPractice 2021 Team

  • Zhicheng (Leo) Liu, University of Maryland
  • Sean McKenna, Lucid Software
  • Matt Larsen, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  • Matthew Brehmer, Tableau Research


Twitter: @visinpractice

Previous VisInPractice Events