Class Projects - Spring 2014

Trendable

Trendable is a web application that helps users merge data files quickly and easily and provides an analysis of the data.

Trendable is a web application that helps users merge data files quickly and easily and provides an analysis of the data.
What it does

Trendable is an extension of the DataTrack project previously created in Collaborative Innovation in Journalism and Technology. Trendable takes advantage of DataTrack’s data analysis features, but introduces the ability for users to upload their own datasets in CSV format. A step-by-step process allows users to upload multiple data files and merge them into a single file without the hassle of copy-paste that would normally be involved in this process. Once the data files are merged, analysis of the data is also presented, including:

  • Important observations in the most recent data
  • Long-term trends
  • Basic statistics

How it works

Trendable uses a PHP backend to do data import and analysis. After the user has uploaded a dataset, Trendable searches for errors in the data. If it finds one, it tells the user about it. Otherwise, the technology asks the user a few simple questions to help them format the data in the way that he or she wants it. After merging the data into a single table, Trendable performs a variety of statistical and trend analysis on it and make observations, which are presented to the user. The datasets are saved so users may access them later.


Next Steps
  • Add support for quarterly data.
  • Improve the selection, hierarchy and presentation of trends to make it even easier to find newsworthy trends.
  • Improve import by allowing users to edit “bad” data values right in the application and improving the error detection and handling process.
  • Introduce a login feature so that each user may privately save datasets, rather than making all uploaded datasets public.

Connect

Student team: Neil Holt, Hanqing Ma, Thomas M. Saxton

Faculty guidance: