Statistical Modeling by Gesture: A graphical, browser-based statistical interface for data repositories


We detail our construction of TwoRavens, a graphical user interface for quantitative analysis that allows users at all levels of statistical expertise to explore their data, describe their substantive understanding of the data, and appropriately construct and interpret statistical models. The interface is a browser-based, thin client, with the data remaining in an online repository, and the statistical modeling occurring on a remote server.  In our implementation, we integrate with tens of thousands of datasets from the Dataverse repository, and the large library of statistical models available in the Zelig package for the R statistical language.  Our interface is entirely gesture-driven, and so easily used on tablets and phones.  This, in combination with being browser-based, makes data exploration and quantitative reasoning easily portable to the classroom with minimal infrastructure or technology overhead.