SwissPeaks Rules for Developing Data Viz Dashboards
The user experience of a dashboard depends on its user base, the amount of data being utilised and more significantly, the data types or data structures employed. SwissPeaks have created a set of benchmarks and rules that allow data quantity and various data types to be easily and quickly uploaded to our data visualisation platforms.
Usability and Complexity
Even for the most complicated data structures, or calculations needing to be visualised, we want the users of our dashboards to not have to think about how to find the data they need. Accessing data should be a quick and easy experience.
Rule #1: A user must be able to understand how to use the dashboard within 10 minutes of first use, without the need for a reference document.
The only caveat to this is if your project needs completely unique or specialist features, and if so, it may be necessary for some sort of introduction. To that end, we also provide extensive documentation or even video tutorials to ensure the user base can extract the insight they need quickly. Our dashboards come with a range of customisation options, above any branding we may apply.
Data Retrieval Speed
A great looking dashboard is all well and good, but if it’s too slow to generate graphs then users will become frustrated and/or impatient. The speed of data retrieval is important, especially when dealing with none-aggregated respondent level raw data. To avoid slow data retrieval our efficient collation engine minimises iteration and optimises calculation, to conform with our second rule:
Rule #2: Graphs should populate within at most 1 second, but preferably in less than half a second.
In recent years we have helped our clients create dashboards that must output multiple graphs and perform calculations on hundreds of thousands of raw records. We understand the importance of providing a rewarding user experience to our clients by ensuring efficient data optimisation, storage mechanisms and enhancements.
Users will mainly see the value of the dashboard from the usability and speed (of data retrieval) point of view. However, with our data management expertise, we have honed our skills with many varied data (structure) types in order to make data quickly and readily available. We are aware that most dashboard developers are skilful in the front end development features of usability and interface design but being able to import data quickly, easily and more importantly cost efficiently, is our speciality.
Rule #3: Upload data into the dashboard quickly and cost efficiently.
Whilst the dashboards themselves are a useful first port of call for a researcher, the results are often needed for insertion into presentation documents or reports. It is important that data can be extracted from our dashboards in a variety of ways, most notably:
- As PNG chart images
- As CSV
- As native Excel
- As native, text and image driven PDF.
Rule #4: Our dashboards must be able to produce and export to recognised ubiquitous formats.
With our knowledge of data types, formats and meta data structures, we can also offer services for conversion into the specific file formats your business may need.
Security and Management
Access to a business’s data is a large concern. Our dashboards use the latest security best practices for the storage of user information, password hashing and permission based access. We can even offer bespoke server solutions, or deploy to internal server locations.
Rule #5: Our dashboards adhere to the latest security best practices available to our server technology.
The loss of data or development projects due to hardware failure are foreseeable events. Beyond internal backups, backup to other physical locations or backup to the cloud, we also incorporate a staged deployment process, even when dealing with data updates.
Rule #6: All development and data associated with our dashboards must have multiple layers of redundancy for both service and storage.
We pride ourselves on being able to mount data updates in very little time. If you have your data quality controlled with us, it can be a matter of hours before the latest insight can be drawn from your data. We ensure that data updates undergo as much validation in as little time as possible; we often find the anomalies that have hidden from external QC providers.
Rule #7: Users must be able to gain access to new data within 3 working days of receipt, if going through QC, or within 8 hours if already clean data.
SwissPeaks have a decade of experience developing web applications. All our development projects run on a core proprietary framework, optimised for data processing and web technology. For the whole of your projects life cycle, it will receive any incremental updates made to the framework.
Rule #8: Our dashboards must remain running on the latest iteration of our framework, and be modified accordingly if such updates require it.
With these rules in place, we have delivered data visualisation dashboards to businesses and organisations worldwide, including the BBC World Service, Safaricom, More than Insurance and Geneva Public Transport (tpg.ch).