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Enabling Fast, Customized Data Visualizations

Reportal as a development platform for a custom chart-management tool

Practice Areas

  • Data Visualization
  • Software Development

Business Impact

  • Improved time-to-insight

Challenges

  • Sluggish data visualizations
  • Lack of in-depth chart customization features
  • Inability to manage multiple charts in one place

Technologies

  • Reportal
  • Go
  • Vega
  • React
  • Javascript

Background

A major technology-focused investment management firm was struggling with their existing BI toolset. Visualizations would take up to a minute or more to display the requested information, and the limited feature set made it impossible to build charts with the desired level of customization. Because the client did not have the in-house resources that the development necessitated, they reached out to Starschema to design and implement the solution.

Challenge

Given the needs of investment management, the solution had to ensure that Tableau dashboards and Vega charts would function super-fast, even when multiple charts are displayed simultaneously. It also needed to enable demanding users to build highly customized, visually appealing charts based on live data.

Solution

After assessing the client’s existing BI environment and needs, our team decided to use Starschema’s Reportal product as a platform for building a customized solution. Reportal is a highly flexible tool that allows users to organize and manage disparate resources, including data visualization software, which in this case provided a faster way of achieving the desired results than greenfield development. We expanded the out-of-the-box product with a chart builder with advanced embedding functionality, enabling the client to embed multiple charts into their own management portal. The new chart builder’s features are accessible enough for inexperienced users but offer all the flexibility that power users require.

Outcome

Within two months, we delivered the first fully functional product. It provided the required flexibility to create custom embeddable charts. The overall load speed of the client’s data visualizations – drawing from 10 billion rows – went from over a minute to a matter of seconds. These improvements enable the company’s management to dig faster and deeper into their data for insights and make investment critical decisions in near-real-time. Upon completion of this initial project, the client engaged Starschema to further expand and optimize the solution to meet their unique requirements.