June round-up of InstantAtlas stories

Welcome to the latest edition of the InstantAtlas blog news – our monthly round-up of projects showcasing InstantAtlas software solutions and how they are being used to map and present statistics in interactive dynamic reports and profiles.

In this edition we have some great posts from Pierre JenkinsIan Holmes and Jan Weststeyn of InstantAtlas support plus a recorded webinar presentation from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. We also have customer stories from the UK Office for National Statistics and Harrow London Borough Council.

Pierre Jenkins

Customising InstantAtlas Server Emails
by Dr. Pierre Jenkins, Head of InstantAtlas Support

Our support team has received a few requests recently from InstantAtlas Server customers who want to change the look of the emails that their data observatory automatically sends out to registered users.

The “account activated”” email is an important introduction to the system. A friendly, informative email that is easy on the eye will do a good job of selling the system to the user. It can be used to direct them to helpful resources such as a user guide or video tutorials for example. And customising this email is so easy once you know how.

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Ian HolmesUsing JavaScript in InstantAtlas Server Profiles
by Ian Holmes, Senior Support Consultant

One of the hot topics at the InstantAtlas Data Workshops earlier this year explained how to use JavaScript in Text Widgets for conditional formatting in the InstantAtlas Server (IAS) Profiles module. Since then the support team has received a number of requests for further information on this topic.

Substitution strings in Text Widgets enable you to create intelligent sentences that add real value to the narrative that you can put around the other Widgets in your Profile.  These have been available in IAS for a long time and we are aware that a number of customers have made good use of them.  However one of the limitations of the substitution strings is that they’re not able to do conditional statements.  For example if an Indicator value has changed between two dates it is not possible to get the Widget to enter the word ‘increased’ or ‘decreased’; instead you have to word your sentence to say that the value has ‘changed’ between the two dates.

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Jan WeststeynUnderstanding Server Profiles
Extract presentation from our recent North America Public Health Webinar with the Alaska Department of Health & Social Services

Hi I’m Jan and I’m part of the user support team based in Houston and my job is to provide support to our North American clients for both our desktop and server based products.

In the next 15 mins or so I will show you some examples of our InstantAtlas Server Profiles module; how it works and I will also highlight some of the benefits you gain by using this as part of an InstantAtlas Server solution. Afterwards I’ll show you how you can build Profiles using an actual InstantAtlas Server Administration website on a live demonstration.

Okay let’s begin, please select a video link option below

Customer Story: Office for National Statistics, UK
‘How the Office for National Statistics has used data visualisation to enhance its Local Enterprise Partnership profiles’

InstantAtlas talks to Tom Mahoney, Area Based Analysis | ONS

The office for National Statistics is the UK’s largest independent producer of official statistics and is the recognised national statistical institute of the UK. It produces a series of bi-annual Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Profiles to help LEPs use official statistics to better understand the economic, social and environmental picture for LEPs and the local authority areas within them. The LEP Profiles include official statistics covering a variety of different themes to provide a broad overview of each LEP which include: demography, employment, enterprise and housing.

Tom Mahoney works in the Area Based Analysis team and says that the LEP Profiles are popular but the team felt that data mapping software would improve the profiles and help users understand the data better.

Read the article

Customer Story: Harrow Informed
‘Harrow Informed, a local information system that is helping more people access intelligence about health, crime and economic activity’

InstantAtlas talks to Solakha Lal Management Information Officer, Harrow London Borough Council

Harrow Informed is a local information system (LIS) that was commissioned by the Harrow Chief Executives Group and implemented as a partnership project by the Joint Analytical Group (which includes Harrow Council, Harrow Police and public health analysts). The aim was to develop an information hub that could be used to inform the development of strategy across the council and its partners.

Getting started

The Corporate Performance team at Harrow Council was responsible for developing the LIS. It decided that information would be best presented in a visual format and having seen other Local Authorities using InstantAtlas decided to follow suit. Several workshops and information sessions were held for data analysts, managers and councillors to help the team understand what the LIS should look like and identify which data should be used. Downloading the data from different websites and formatting was an initial concern and the team opted to use OCSI data packs, which took a familiar approach to data collection and reduced officer data time and resource.

Read the article

InstantAtlas tutorial video refresh

Over the last couple of months we have been going through a refresh of our core video tutorials. So now as well as seeing how you can create great looking flash based reports we have now provided the HTML equivalent supporting video.  Plus we have also refreshed the core product video tutorials for Designer, Publisher and Excel Data Manager.  You will also see that the videos now come with captions for those with a preference to read text instructions whilst watching the tutorials.

Our videos remain available on YouTube but for those who cannot watch our YouTube Channel we are also providing the videos on our own dedicated streaming video server.

InstantAtlas on YouTube

Using IA Publisher, Designer and Excel Data Manager

‘How to use IA dynamic reports’

InstantAtlas on our dedicated video server IA Essentials

Using JavaScript in InstantAtlas Server Profiles

One of the hot topics at the InstantAtlas Data Workshops earlier this year explained how to use JavaScript in Text Widgets for conditional formatting in the InstantAtlas Server (IAS) Profiles module. Since then the support team has received a number of requests for further information on this topic.

Substitution strings in Text Widgets enable you to create intelligent sentences that add real value to the narrative that you can put around the other Widgets in your Profile.  These have been available in IAS for a long time and we are aware that a number of customers have made good use of them.  However one of the limitations of the substitution strings is that they’re not able to do conditional statements.  For example if an Indicator value has changed between two dates it is not possible to get the Widget to enter the word ‘increased’ or ‘decreased’; instead you have to word your sentence to say that the value has ‘changed’ between the two dates.

Read the full article