Interactive visualizations require having the datasets organized in a way that they can be easily updated and utilized. As an example, I would like to share one recent experience from an USAID-funded project that relies on the MoH’s HMIS and the DHIS2 platform for regular activity monitoring and reporting.
Every month the project receives site-level HMIS reports in Excel, which are transformed following open data standards and then imported into a centralized database. Aggregated datasets are then imported to Excel-based analysis templates and Tableau pre-defined dashboards that allow users to drill down from the national to sub-national levels. Here you can find an example of how one HMIS report looks like and how it is standardized using open data standards, which makes it easy to create pivot tables, pivot graphs, dynamic visualizations, etc. Although Google Spreadsheets doesn’t have all the functionalities of a full version of Excel, I hope you can get an idea of how this project structures its data before importing it to their database and utilizing it in their visualization/reporting system.
We’d love to hear from you, how do you structure your data in order to create a dynamic visualization either in Excel or other platform?
There’s not an easy answer as to how to do that when it comes to GIS, but I thought perhaps I should send out a link to a publication we made a few years ago for how to think about and format your data with mapping in mind: