Optimizing visual analytics capabilities to reinforce information awareness
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Computer science and informatics are one of the industries which is in constant change. The trends and needs of this industry changes sometimes faster than the curriculum at the universities. The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) strives to keep the curriculum at the Department of Computer Science (IDI) up do date in order to prepare their students for the working life. The industry and the university have to cooperate in order to archive this. NTNU have already established several initiatives to maintain this bridge between the two parties, but there is still an partly existence of skill and competence gaps between what the graduated students knows and what the companies expects from their employees. This thesis explores how this gap can be visualized in an intuitive and usable manner. Based on data gathered through a questionnaire asking for the skill and knowledge of the IDI graduated employees in comparison to the company's need and priorities, a graphical design solution were developed and iteratively tested to achieve optimal understanding among the users. The system, a working prototype, visualized the data and allowed the user to look through categories such as industry and company size, compare the skill level of IDI graduates against the industry priority and values, and compare the different industries and categories against each other. The research showed that the user, particularly students, showed a lot of interest in the project and the information they were able to gather from the data after testing out the system. However, the authenticity and contemporaneity of the data was a concern for some. The companies, or employers, would increase their interest and effort in this tool of knowledge when the student proved the viability of the concept.