Gradient

Fast, Customized Data Visualizations Using Reportal

Practice Area

  • 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

Our client is a global technology-focused investment management firm that invests in both the public and private markets. Their focus is on technology, media and telecommunications, as well as the consumer and healthcare sectors.

As a major technology-focused investment management firm, executives are keenly aware that the firm’s performance is a directly correlated to its ability to derive insights and make fast, accurate decisions. They came to realize that their current BI infrastructure and tools were holding them back and decided to find a solution that would deliver optimal performance.

Challenge

Because the ability to make fast decisions based on accurate, comprehensive data is crucial for top performance and competitive advantage in such a time-sensitive industry, executives at the firm launched an initiative to upgrade their BI toolset. Their aim was to make it more responsive and improve their BI experience to be faster to insight.

The client identified two key areas for improvement: visualizations were taking too long to display the requested information – up to a minute or more – and the limited feature set made it impossible to build charts with the desired level of customization.

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

This requirement dictated a BI solution built to make the most of the client’s unique environment and provide optimal solutions to highly specific use cases. Only custom development can ensure the peak BI performance our client desired and, in turn, performance for the organization. The client decided on this approach and selected Starschema to plan, design and implement a solution based on Reportal, Starschema’s web-based report management tool.

Reportal is a highly flexible tool that allows users to organize and manage disparate resources, including data visualization software. For the client’s purposes, this core functionality provided a more effective foundation for achieving the desired results than greenfield development.

With the desired functionality in mind, we expanded the core Reportal product with a chart builder with advanced embedding capability, enabling users to embed multiple charts into their own management portal. The new chart builder’s features are accessible enough to allow the quick onboarding of new users and provide the flexibility that experienced power users require.

The custom development ensured the client the fastest possible load times for visualizations. It did so by tailoring the solution to their unique use cases, existing data architecture and pipelines and eliminating all non-essential overhead from the process of displaying the requested data.

Outcome

Within two months, we delivered the initial implementation. It provided the required flexibility to create custom embeddable charts, and 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 executives to dig faster and deeper into their data for insights and make critical investment decisions in near-real-time.

We continue to work with the client to deliver additional features, roll out upgrades and to expand and optimize the solution to meet their unique requirements.