Prototype and test
To kickstart the project, we began with stakeholder interviews and a co-design session to establish an experience prototype that highlighted workflow for users and administrators. With an approved set of requirements, our efforts to select the right software to power the dashboard become much more focused. Our team evaluated a few tools based on research into indicator dashboards from across North America. We settled on an approach after demonstrating a technical prototype leveraging open-source tools. It was important to demonstrate how data could be parsed from Statistics Canada, served to a front-end framework and easily published. Within the first month of the project, the front-end experience and the technical specifics for how it would be achieved were approved before any visual design was completed.
Innovation through collaboration
Innovation doesn’t happen in a vacuum; it takes commitment from all parties involved. The co-design session, prototype development, testing and approval process allowed our teams to engage stakeholders early and often and establish buy-in for our design and development approaches. It was a total team effort as members of the Ministry of the Economy were engaged through visual design and into development--sometimes setting up in our office to fine tune workflow and test front-end functionality.
Foundation for the future
The result was a rapidly deployed single page application built on an open-source framework with automated data collection and administrative workflow that meets the Ministry of the Economy’s needs. What began as a dashboard for one government department can now be scaled, adding departments and indicators in the future.
Building a user-friendly and automated back-end was critical to improving the government’s ability to aggregate and share information. This project increased public sector transparency while simultaneously saving research time for interested citizens and organizations. Our approach on this project was nimble, lean, efficient and innovative.