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Human-centred experience design to help small businesses access, understand, and use big data with Department of Premier and Cabinet

2018

The challenge

Big data has become one of the most valuable resources in the 21st-century marketplace, helping businesses find their audience, make decisions, and better serve their customers’ needs. However, there is a significant gap between the haves and the have-nots, and small businesses often lack the time, expertise and source material to use data in a meaningful way.

Impact opportunity

To boost small and medium businesses’ economic activity, the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) engaged Today, in partnership with Geoplex, to develop a tool that makes it easy for small businesses to explore, understand and act on open government data.

The process

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Discovery

We had access to over 60 open data sets from across government, with information ranging from demographics, to business data, and government projects. Our task was to bring this into a single, cohesive story.

To do this, we worked with DPC and Geoplex in a transdisciplinary team, sharing a workspace and collaboratively managing everything from converting data to APIs, to concept generation and testing.

Client testimonial

MyVictoria will help make the big decisions about where to live or start up a business a little easier by providing essential local data in one place. This will be great for delivering the best outcomes and help our state grow.

Special Minister of State Gavin Jennings

Reflection

There is a lot of open data out there, but most of it requires a degree in data science to make any use of. This project put the power of data insights back in the hands of small to medium business owners. Turning complexity into something that was not only easy to use, but also fun, was pivotal in this project.

Callan Rowe
Innovation Lead at Today

Beautiful data

Our solution was MyVictoria: a beautiful data platform that helps small businesses understand their local area in a deep and specific way.

MyVictoria aims to give people who don’t have experience in data analysis a way to access valuable, local insight. To do this, it needed to be intuitive, simple and delightful. We did this by designing a user interface (UI) with delightful and satisfying interactions, a nuanced experience that encourages repeat engagement.

Aiming to improve planning and decision making, every element of the platform is designed to be compelling, insightful and actionable.

The product is unique, going beyond typical web design into something closer to what you might find in leading software product development. It functions intuitively, using familiar design languages in an entirely new context. It’s built with cutting-edge web and geospatial technology, with a kit of reusable components to add value to future data projects.

Empowering small business

MyVictoria is expected to contribute millions to the Victorian economy, and put data-driven power in the hands of the small businesses that are its lifeblood.

It’s a pioneering project for government open data in Australia—the first time open data been applied to this scale, with this many data sets, in a truly human-centred way. As such, it’s leading the state government’s single digital presence program and provides a framework for future open data projects.

Awards

This project was awarded Gold at the 2019 Good Design Awards in the Digital Design and Development category, and a Merit in the 2019 AGDA Design Awards Digital category.

Outcome

The Victorian Government launched MyVictoria: an innovative, open and accessible web platform that uses beautiful, interactive data visualisations to help small businesses use data in a meaningful way.

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