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We report results from a study on the adoption of an information visualization system by administrative data analysts. Despite the fact that the system was neither fully integrated with their current software tools nor with their existing data analysis practices, analysts identified a number of key benefits that visualization systems provide to their work. These benefits for the most part occurred when analysts went beyond their habitual and well-mastered data analysis routines and engaged in creative discovery processes. We analyze the conditions under which these benefits arose, to inform the design of visualization systems that can better assist the work of administrative data analysts.