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Category: collaboration

Open Data & Dataviz example: Top American Research Universities Dashboard

Open Data is everywhere. But, how can you make gold out of it? How can you make meaning of rough data?

In this blog-post, we would like to show you how to create in a few minutes in Jolicharts charts and data visualizations that you can share in one click.


STEP 1 – Finding Data

We chose to elaborate on the topic of education and research. We were all interested in this topic, and it’s also quite easy to find open data in these fields.

Few Google searches for “Top American Research Universities Data” lead us to get some reliable data from The Center for Measuring Universities Performance of the Arizona State University.

Center for Measuring University Performance Website Screenshot

We found the fields of the spreadsheets of the results of their last study were already concatenated: Total Research, Federal Research, Endowment Assets, Annual Giving, National Academy Members, Faculty Awards, Doctorates Granted, Postdoctoral Appointees, and SAT/ACT range.

Data on your spreadsheet

For your interest, you should be able to find some link about very reliable governmental open data initiatives on the Wikipedia page about Open Data.


STEP 2 – Cleaning Data

The messy, real-world data spreadsheet file had to be modified into the data tables Jolicharts expects. Only few changes were made.

Even if this step is very important when you use data that aren’t designed to be processed, it is not always compulsory. More and more data is already well shaped for analytic tools (like, for example, most of the data you directly export from software or web apps).


STEP 3 – Uploading Data on Jolicharts

Because all the data was on the same Excel sheet, everything was quickly loaded in only one “Adding a data source” click.


STEP 4 – Design Charts

As usual, charts were made with drag and drops. We decided to always filter the only ten first results on each chart. It makes the Dashboard more synthetic and understandable at first glance.

Sharing is caring! You can also choose to share this dashboards with your colleagues, enable them to have real-time insights on your creation in order to get some feedback of your work.


STEP 5 – Design the dashboard

Some colors, icons and source explanation were added, to give it a more pleasant overview and also some visual aid.

Jolicharts Dashboards RESEARCH US UNIVERSITIES Link
Tip: Once you defined the look of one chart-bloc (font size, colors) feel free to copy-paste this nice chart block through your dashboard and then change the visualization.


STEP 6 – Share the dashboard

One click was enough to share our dashboards online. Here is our result, go and see by yourself!

Jolicharts - RESEARCH US UNIVERSITIES Screenshots

It took less than 2 hours to build this dashboard. Of course, it is not the first time I was making visualizations with Jolicharts, but if you know already precisely what kind of visualization you want to have as a result, Jolicharts is the tool that helps you turn ideas into reality.

Jolicharts vs. Excel: pivotables have become so 1990s

Why you should use Jolicharts instead of a good old pivot table in Excel to generate your charts? Not clear to you? Here are some key benefits to one of the most frequently asked questions by people not yet familiar with self-service business intelligence tools.

- Collaborative sharing of your dashboards (Google Drive-style approach as opposed to MS Office)
– You can design clean and user-friendly design for your charts and dashboards
– Possibility to cross multiple datasources (for the moment XLS and CSV only, but soon web services and databases)
– You may publish information in one click on the web
– Easy to embed charts and dashboard on external websites
Capable of handling big amounts of data (up to 1GB for the moment, and a lot more very soon)

Last, we at Jolicharts don’t see Microsoft Excel as a competitor at all. To us, Microsoft Excel is a wonderful platform to build upon, with a huge-issima installed based. We acknowledge a good chunk of our users are very familiar with Excel – some of them are Excel power users, and we’re doing our best everyday to make Excel datasources integrate seamlessly with Jolicharts. In a way, Jolicharts is the online, social extension of your spreadsheets.

Send charts to your colleagues by email

On Jolicharts, you can now send charts by email! Super useful – as we’ve been told, to share a result with your boss, a conclusion with a customer, a fact with a colleague or partner.

How do you do this? Well, as usual it’s super simple.

Just click on ‘Share this chart’ (the third icon from left to the right, above any chart).

Then, on the page that has appeared, click on ‘Send chart by email’. Now, enter the email address of the recipient(s), and some text if you want to add explanations to the chart.

Click on ‘Send’, and you’re all set!