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Open Reporting Data eXchange

The Open Reporting Data eXchange (or ORDeX) is a collaborative platform that allows parties to exchange data in a standard and generic format. These data can then be used for planning and monitoring, as well as for the generation of tables, graphs as well as mash-ups. ORDeX seeks to integrate available opendata sources with operational planning and monitoring of individual projects, as well as improving efficiency in data-collection by publishing meta-information about dataseries that are being built.

ORDeX

ORDeX will contribute to a more efficient planning, monitoring and reporting (pm&r) cycle because:

  • it helps to lower cost of data-collection and reporting.
    Data-collection will be a collaborative effort, each participant that collects and shares data contibutes to a common datalibrary. Since ORDeX uses a generic format is is easy to create tables, reports and data-exports that include multiple sources.
  • it provides a clear source of data, allowing for quality assurance.
    When responsibilities for data-collection are clear, organizations can concentrate on the collection and quality-assurance of data. ORDeX helps to create the data-sources that are indispensible for reliable reporting.
  • it supports operational aspects of pm&r.
    ORDeX allows users to create data-series with data-points for both planning and realisation. When data is due they receive automatic reminders by e-mail. ORDeX generates reports that indicate which data is missing. When setting up monitoring for new peojects, ORDeX allows you to see who else is already building datasets that may interest you.
  • It enhances transparency towards stakeholders.
    When setting up the planning and reporting system is a joint responsibilty of all stakeholders and reports can be generated automatically each period, information requirements can more easily be satisfied.

Ordex was presented at the Dutch National Opendata conference in April 2012. The slides that were used during the talk can be found here.

From June 2012 onwards, Ordex will be used as one of the main data repositories of a large agricultural development project in the Great Lakes region in Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Roadmap

  • Reporter proof of concept - Done
    We decided to build a proof of concept to tackle a number of challenges related to the combination of hierarchically organized points of interest (pois) that represent geographic locations and/or catchment areas and/or organizations with dataseries of varying frequency and granularity. The demo website for this concept takes an input that consists of a hierachical node structure (skeleton), a dataset (source) and a report definition. Using XSLT processing an output in html or xml can be generated.

    The testbed for the reporter is available here. The following elements are loaded at startup:

    When using the default elements, this output will be generated.

  • Databrowser proof of concept- January 2012

    The ORDeX databrowser is the user-interface to individual datapoints, each of which is characterized by a reference to a poi, a timestamp, a modus (planned, projected, estimated, measured), a variable and a value. Datapoints belong to dataseries (with a user-defined frequency and interval) that allow for automatic alerting when data need to be provided. ORDeX is meant to be a generic platform on which it cannot be known beforehand which variables will be stored, nor along which axis (poi, time, variable, modus) data-entry will take place. Therefore the proof of concept will concentrate on the dynamic creation of input forms on the basis of user-defined filtering of datapoints.

  • Version 1.0 - June 2012

    After the two main technical bottlenecks have been tackled, the first version of ORDeX will have:

    • Integration databrowser - reporter
      The interface between the database of datapoints and the reporter will be created. Optimization in terms of performance.
    • Connecting / importing / converting existing "open " datasets
      Existing "open" data will be imported (or if possible and relevant, linked "live ") in order to allow users to enrich these data and connecting them to their own datapoints.
    • Authorization / permissions to allow different groups of uses to view/ edit data.

  • Version 1.1

    • Support for media files
      Linking multiple media files (from .rtf to .wmv)
    • Interface to GIS
      Allowing users to query and visualize datapoints using maps.
    • Application Programming Interface (API)
      • Manipulate datapoints
      • Running reports with paramaters

  • Next steps still undefined

The proof of concept of the ORDeX reporter was conceived and developed by Geert Bormans who is an information architect and XML / XSLT specialist and Tom Zeppenfeldt who is an information architect focusing on Monitoring and Reporting, Knowledge Management and Opendata for Development.