Main Page

From Viz Matters
Jump to: navigation, search


CCP Visualisation Tools Survey

Through the Service Level Agreement (SLA) for Support for Computational Communities between STFC and EPSRC and via the University of Manchester we have been asked to coordinate some visualisation surveys across certain disciplines. This is to inform the funding bodies, CCP organisers and the current uses about trends and developments for future collaboration and areas where high impact visualisation cases can be exploited. The initial main surveys were completed by the end of October 2014, and after evaluation, the use and practicality of creating a long term embedded visualisation service within the CCP infrastructure is explored. Details from all users results will be in this public site. Future demand and optional extra surveys are currently being investigated as well as a repeated annual global survey that will indicate temporal changes.


There are multiple reasons for performing this service and a key component was to understand if there was a case for a visualisation component to the SLA, and if the research councils should develop a services for the CCP communities. There is also a benefit to current users who can be informed of their and other group usage in order to provide a better piece-meal service in the future. There is a plan for long term embedding these results into a visualisation service that goes beyond a single facility.

CCPs and other Groups Surveyed

A subpage contains the List of (and links to) the communities surveyed, response rates, and responders' locations


Three surveys were initially issued:

  1. [SurveyMonkey Link] to the global survey of all funded networks.
  2. [SurveyMonkey Link] to the CCPi network's survey.
  3. [SurveyMonkey Link] to the CFD network's survey.

The surveys were broadly similar. Results have not been combined and presented below is the analysis of the main global survey. For the global survey the questionnaire was distributed via each CCP emailing list and 107 responses were received by 31 October 2014. See Presentations and Analysis section below for analysis of the other two smaller surveys.

A post six-month analysis of the surveys is currently underway, starting with the two non-global surveys, indicating where lessons have been learnt from the respected communities.

Further surveys and visualisation tools audiots are being performed and a repeat of the global survey is planned for Summer 2015 to indicate change dynamics exactly a year later.

Outreach Activities: Presentations and Analysis

There have been individual presentations and discussions of the surveys and post-six month evaluations have also started. Pre- and some post-analysis from the two smaller surveys are available at:

  1. CCPiSurvey CCPi network survey results from June 2014
  2. CFDSurvey CFD network survey results from October 2014

The main global survey was presented first in December 2014 and the results are available at:

  1. CCPSurvey2014 CCP and related groups survey results from November 2014 - January 2016
  2. Future survey planned for 2016

A complete presentation that was given as part of a SCD / STFC seminar in December 2014, is available as a single pdf file that includes sub-results from all three surveys [1]

Combined Report and Recommendations

There is a ReportAndRecommendations sub-page that is a combined location for presenting current and completed survey results' executive summaries, as well as presenting the future roadmap.

Executive Summary of Global CCP Results

For the global survey there were seven key outcome results that can be acted upon:

  • Three packages are the most-used packages by 26% of respondents. Conversely, another 31 packages are used by one or two users and account for a further 26% of respondents.
  • Producing publication quality plots is the most-used technique.
  • However, the features making these packages the favourites are:
  1. Software that is written specifically for their domain of interest.
  2. Large datasets are handled efficiently.
  3. Scripting or other ability to extend the tool is required.
  • Users second most favoured packages are general purpose visualisation tools.
  • Users were given five options for selecting their most required development. None emerged as being more needed than the others.
  • Conversely, large amounts of memory was clearly the most important requirement for high performance visualisation.
  • The main future challenges are suggested to be
  1. The ability to handle large amounts of data
  2. The ability to operate in a distributed environment.

Summaries and analysis of the various questions' for Global CCP results

Questions that were asked in the global survey - and please click for exploration of the data summaries and analysis.

Q1 Home institutions

Q2 Which CCP(s) are you involved with?

Q3 What software do you use for visualisation of data?

Q4 What visualisation techniques are important to your work?

Q5 Comments on the respondents' most used visualisation tool.

Q6 Same as question 5, for any other tool used.

Q7 Visualisation requirements. How important do you see the provision of the following?

Q8 Requirements for high performance/advanced visualisation facilities. Do you have any need for access to:

Q9 What do you see as the main challenges for visualisation in your domain now and in the near future?

Q10 Any other comments?


Martin J. Turner email

Ronald Fowler email

Tim Morris email

We welcome feedback and also thank all those that gave indirect and direct contributions.