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.
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.
We had access to over 60 open data sets from across government, with information ranging from demographics, to business, to 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. We began by reviewing the landscape, and then running co-design we sessions with the end users of the platform—small businesses, and people invested in their success—where we tested a broad range of concepts through low fidelity paper prototypes.
Our solution was MyVictoria: a beautiful data platform that helps small businesses understand their local area in a deep and specific way. 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 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.
MyVictoria launched in September 2018. It’s 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—it’s the first time it’s been done 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.