Visual analytics, the “science of analytical reasoning facilitated by interactive visual interfaces”, is more than just visualization. Understanding the human reasoning process is essential for designing effective visualization tools and providing correct analyses. This thesis describes the evolution, application and evaluation of a new method for studying analytical reasoning that we have labeled paired analysis. Paired analysis combines subject matter experts (SMEs) and tool experts (TE) in an analytic dyad, here used to investigate aircraft maintenance and safety data. The method was developed and evaluated using interviews, pilot studies and analytic sessions during an internship at the Boeing Company. By enabling a collaborative approach to sensemaking that can be captured by researchers, paired analysis yielded rich data on human analytical reasoning that can be used to support analytic tool development and analyst training.
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