Interactive Data Analytics
for the Humanities
Abstract. In this vision paper, we argue that current solutions to data analytics are not suitable for complex tasks from the humanities, as they are agnostic of the user and focused on static, predefined tasks with large-scale benchmarks. Instead, we believe that the human must be put into the loop to address small data scenarios that require expert domain knowledge and fluid, incrementally defined tasks, which are common for many humanities use cases. Besides the main challenges, we discuss existing and urgently required solutions to interactive data acquisition, model development, model interpretation, and system support for interactive data analytics. In the envisioned interactive systems, human users not only provide annotations to a machine learning classifier, but train a model by using the system and demonstrating the task. The learning system will actively query the user for feedback, refine its model in real-time, and is able to explain its decisions. Our vision links natural language processing research with recent advances in machine learning, computer vision, and data management systems, as realizing this vision relies on combining expertise from all of these scientific fields.