Introducing SpendView


#1

Hi everyone,

A few months ago I posted about Presupuesto Abierto, which I built as part of my masters’ thesis at Macro Connections. This first attempt at building a budget visualization platform taught us important lessons about the limitations of the dashboard UI pattern. In my opinion, dashboards don’t adapt well to UI conventions that the web has gotten us used to: ease of sharing, indexability by search engines, use of text alongside charts.

After a few months of work, I redesigned and implemented a new version of the tool, that I’m now calling SpendView. It draws from lessons and interaction patterns from other sites developed at Macro Connections, like the Observatory of Economic Complexity or the recently launched DataUSA.

SpendView is implemented with React (using server-side rendering, to improve search engine visibility) and Vega for the charts. On the server side, I’m using the awesome column-oriented database MonetDB and mondrian-rest, a Mondrian REST endpoint that I wrote for this project.

SpendView is not officially launched yet, but I’d like to share it with the OpenSpending community.

Feedback, questions and comments will be very appreciated!


#2

Sounds excellent! Looking forward to hearing more about it later on today on the Labs Hangout:


#3

Oh man, I love this! The narrative blocks are something I’ve really been meaning to play with more and I love how it worked out for you. Super cool. And the plain-language section titles below make it really easy to get an overview!

The one bit I can’t figure out is: if you select a tile in a tree map it gives you a time-based view, but if you click on the items in the narrative part you actually get a drill-down – is there a way to see the drilldown for tiles which are not in the narrative?


#4

Thanks, Friedrich! Data verbalization has a lot of potential IMO. Besides the obvious SEO benefits, sometimes a bit of text is more effective than a complex chart.

if you select a tile in a tree map it gives you a time-based view, but
if you click on the items in the narrative part you actually get a
drill-down – is there a way to see the drilldown for tiles which are
not in the narrative?

Great point. That definitely needs more work. So far, the ways you can navigate to a different member are by clicking on the links on the left column, or in the title of the modal.