A article in the NYT, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/31/technology/31novel.html?ref=business, discusses a new analytic tool for collaborative work: Many eyes. www.many-eyes.com
“People share their videos on YouTube and their photos at Flickr. Now they can share more technical types of displays: graphs, charts and other visuals they create to help them analyze data buried in spreadsheets, tables or text.
The site was created by scientists at the Watson Research Center of I.B.M. in Cambridge, Mass., to help people publish and discuss graphics in a group. Those who register at the site can comment on one another’s work, perhaps visualizing the same information with different tools and discovering unexpected patterns in the data.”
“Collaboration like this can be an effective way to spur insight, said Pat Hanrahan, a professor of computer science at Stanford whose research includes scientific visualization. “When analyzing information, no single person knows it all,” he said. “When you have a group look at data, you protect against bias. You get more perspectives, and this can lead to more reliable decisions.”
Hmmm. Sounds related to Linda Labbo's and David Reinking's article in RRQ on multiple perspectives and the opening chapter in the Handbook of Research on New Literacies: http://www.newliteracies.uconn.edu/pub_files/Handbook_of_Research_on_New_Literacies.pdf Both argue that in an age of rapidly changing literacies we require collaborative research teams to study important issues.
Now, if we could only get a collaborative SPSS or NVivo!