Workbench 0.18 User Guide

Overview

Purpose and Objectives

Workbench makes it much easier for anyone to analyse data.  It does this with four important features:

  • Object Explorer – A simple way to group data in a structure that makes sense to the analyst.
  • Tools – An open toolbox that contains Native Tools (those built into Workbench) and Guest Tools (any software program the analyst wants to use).
  • Transformers – Programs that run behind the scenes that seamlessly translate one data type to another.
  • Workflows – Pre-defined patterns of work that enable the analyst to use an expert approach to a task.

Data analysis is a complex task, and so an important objective is to provide a user interface that helps and does not get in the way.

Workbench screenshot

An objective of the development team is to provide an intuitive and flexible user interface.  The working area is divided into panels, all of which can be moved, resized or undocked.  This allows the analyst to work the way he or she prefers and to make full use of multiple monitors.

The flexibility objective carries through into other features of Workbench.  We’ll discover that Workbench is very open to customisation and extension, making it a powerful platform for other software tools.