What is the FeatureData[Importance] artifact for?

New user. Both the feature-volatility and maturity-index pipelines generate featuredata[importance] artifacts, but a forum search did not indicate what they were for or how to visualize them, and a qiime2 search just gives me a donut of death. What purpose does the featuredata[importance] artifact serve?

Welcome to the forum @bill!

This is described in this tutorial:
https://docs.qiime2.org/2019.10/tutorials/longitudinal/

and a little more about how to interact with that here:
https://docs.qiime2.org/2019.10/tutorials/sample-classifier/

The short answer is: this contains feature importance scores. You can use qiime metadata tabulate to view and rank features by importance score. This is useful for the maturity-index (tells you which features are most predictive of age), but no need with feature-volatility; the volatility visualization already has an interactive barplot that ranks features by importance score.

Sorry you ran into issues with the donut of death; fixing this is on our radar, see here:

Enjoy!
:doughnut:

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Thank you Nicholas. One problem is that when I run ‘qiime featuredata --help’ I get the reply ’ Error: QIIME 2 has no plugin/command named ‘featuredata’.

There is no such plugin. When in doubt, check out the tutorials and documentation at qiime2.org for information on different artifact types etc.