The University of California, Berkeley places high standards on their data visualizations. Charts must update in real time, satisfy web accessibility requirements, feature university colors and be easy to create, among other things. everviz checks all the boxes. The university’s process management office, led by Mike Cook, uses everviz to visualize campus processes and findings in project status reports. An avid innovator, Mike is always on the hunt for new ways to visualize data.
“everviz is the only vendor that meets all the criteria needed to meet the web accessibility requirements to be used in public facing websites at UC Berkeley.“
Mike Cook, Director, Business Process Management Office/ Administration Portfolio Manager at UC Berkeley
‘Using everviz, I was able to go further and have the data displayed by organization with drop down menus, making it very easy to view data for specific departments,’ Mike says.
What challenges were you facing prior to using interactive data visualizations?
Prior to everviz, it was very challenging displaying data on our website due to the challenge of the content not being web accessible. I did not want users to have to click on multiple links to only be sent to a google doc or have to download a pdf to find valuable data. In addition, much of our website has dynamic content in tables and manual updates to web pages became more time consuming, challenging and inconsistent.
How do you use data visualizations?
The Business Process Management Office is using everviz in a few different ways. One set of data that we wanted to display was around process documentation. We use Nintex Process Manager to document processes across campus. We are currently displaying data of how many processes have been documented and how many times the processes have been viewed. Using everviz, I was able to go further and have the data displayed by organization with drop down menus making it very easy to view data for specific departments. Having this data easily accessible is critical as we document more processes and continue to drive the value of process documentation across the campus. Our process documentation metrics can be viewed on our website.
Another way we are using everviz is as a way to display our Project Portfolio and project status. I’ve created Google Sheets that capture the information that then feeds into the everviz tables. Here’s our ‘Active Projects’ page and here’s an example of a specific project page using everviz to show project status. All of our projects have a dedicated page and use everviz to show status. Being transparent with this type of information is an important part of change management, helps to drive accountability and sponsor engagement. Prior to using everviz, the process of updating the website with project status reports was very manual and it was difficult to be consistent. everviz has been a game changer for us in many ways and using it in this way has made a big impact for us.
Going forward, I’m hoping to use everviz for our Strategic Plan Dashboard and for the next evolution of our process health metric reporting.
When do you consider a data visualization a success?
When the data visual tells a story, it’s a success in my mind. In addition, the ease of updating
and adding to the data real-time is a critical piece of it being successful.
everviz is focused on ensuring their product is web accessible and their hard work has paid off. UC Berkeley has developed a widget to embed data visualizations and everviz is the only vendor that meets all the criteria needed to meet the web accessibility requirements to be used in public facing websites at UC Berkeley.
The support provided by the everviz team is also great! They are always there to answer questions and go out of their way to help in any way they can. I can’t thank Martin, Havard and Mark enough for their continued support.
How do you handle chart branding?
I use the ‘Company Themes’ function and have created a template with our brand colors and font. This is essential if you’re creating multiple charts. I currently have 224 projects in everviz so without the custom theme, it would be very difficult to be consistent with the look and feel. In addition, the use of tagging and subteams is extremely valuable to help you keep everything organized.
How was the experience creating accessible data visualizations?
Overall, the experience was fairly straightforward and painless. The way everviz walks you through creating a visual is very helpful and the application is very intuitive. The help forum and knowledge base are extremely helpful. When I did have to reach out and email the support team, the response was quick and any issues or questions I had were resolved very quickly.
What have been the results?
I’m extremely pleased with the results and I’m always thinking of new ways to use everviz to visualize data.
Has the goal been achieved?
I would say that yes, the goal of having process data published and being able to leverage everviz for project status reports has been achieved. I have many ideas for different ways to leverage everviz in the future and the support team may be getting tired of my emails with a million different scenarios and questions.
How have people reacted?
The reaction has been all around positive.
The best reaction has been from our own team. Having transparent data on our website that is accessible, looks great, updates real-time and has saved time from manual website updates has been a very welcome experience for all of us.
What tips do you have for other chart designers?
I’d suggest ensuring that you have a good idea and vision for what you want to visualize and the story you want the data visuals to tell. Also, make sure that you think through how you will organize and maintain the data being visualized.
If you are using Google Spreadsheets, think through naming conventions for each sheet and tab and how the data will be captured and maintained. If you are capturing the data directly in everviz, you should also think about how this data will be maintained and updated going forward. Document the entire process so that if you win the lottery and leave, someone else can step in and maintain the data visuals.
A key thing to leverage when developing data visuals in everviz is the tagging and subteams. Make sure that you understand what a subteam is and what it isn’t and be consistent with the tagging. This will save you a lot of time later! Most importantly, have fun!