Introducing the Umbel Visualization Lab

In the past decade, the size and dimensionality of the data we use to make decisions has exploded.

In order to take advantage of this, we need novel ways of visualizing data that take advantage of new technology. In response, several facilities across the world have founded visualization laboratories where they are primarily focused on making data easier to understand. These labs have many different functions, from displaying information on massive screens, to creating new tools to manage big data, allowing users to better manipulate and interact with their data. For example, see the University of Texas’s TACC Visualization Laboratory.

A lot can be misconstrued if only parts of a data set are viewed at once, whether the subject is high-resolution image data or data about your users. For example, I recently had the opportunity to tour TACC. Their 20 x 11 foot projection screen was the first place our tour guide, a Ph.D. graduate in Vision Science, could view his graduate research data in one place – an amazingly powerful view for him!

In response to the demand for innovation in data visualization, Umbel is excited to announce the Umbel Visualization Lab, which will combine cutting-edge statistical analysis with state-of-the-art visualizations to meet three goals:

  • Demonstrate the power & generate excitement around customer data
  • Build interactive experiences in and out of Umbel’s offices that transport you into a future dimension
  • Constantly enhance the Umbel platform to empower our clients to turn their data into results

We believe that a key component of progressing the field of data visualization giving the user the ability to interact with their data. As a fun showcase of this belief, during our SXSW 2015 UMBELMANIA party we created an photobooth that interacts with the people standing in front of it. Using cutting-edge face-recognition technology, the photobooth finds a face and pastes a luchador mask (in honor of our beloved mascot, El Umbel) on it. Get more details on our Engineering blog and check out the photos at!

Although the focus wasn’t on data analysis, we got a glimpse of the possibilities of what we can do with visualization and we have big plans for the future. Get ready for more from Umbel Visualization Lab. Starting in two weeks, keep an eye out for the Umbel Viz Lab’s bi-weekly articles exploring the best way to answer questions with data visualization.