How do you visualise big datasets showing the tech innovation taking place in Wales?
Nesta is an innovation foundation, backing new ideas to tackle the big challenges of our time.
Nesta approached us to collaborate with them in building a platform to show rich insights through relationships with data in a highly accessible way. The brief was to produce a beautiful visual experience for policymakers to digest and action from.
An accessible data led platform that presents key themes to policyholders in a clear yet explorative way.
Through a lean sprint approach alongside Nesta’s team of data scientists, we ran a series of practical workshops to serve as guiding points between the collaboration. This enabled us to articulate use cases, variables of data available and dependencies to meet the success of each core theme.
A user research report was designed to gain valuable policyholder needs and also fuel user objectives that would guide the project throughout the development phase.
Off the back of the user research report, we were able to craft a fitting user experience using the one core theme to iterate against as a prototype, thus helping inform the several latter use cases.
The visualisations needed to present all of the data points, allow the user to take a deep dive into the detail but also have a walk through to quickly and easily explain the key findings. There was an emphasis on the user journey through the platform, with options for the user to sort and filter the data to find the information they care about.
One feature upvoted was to allow stakeholders to snapshot deeper dive findings and either download or submit the snapshot directly through the accompanying blog. This would allow stakeholders to collaborate personal sentiment across the findings, connect data to stories whilst acting as a catalyst for further discussion.
Once we were confident our coded, skeleton prototypes were functional in silo, the tech lead would review the technical specification and solve any complexities that can be faced due to calling multi own data points at once. A conventional web build would prove to put too much load on many browsers, therefore we prepared a backend configuration that would minimise challenges.
The Nesta platform has been applauded by both Nesta and the Welsh government as an effective tool as part of its research & development phase.
There are plans to develop the architecture further with the opportunity to build similar data platforms for other countries and major urban developments.