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The practice of Content Management and Strategies around content

Akshay Verma


Publishing Data Stories at a Scale

Submitted Mar 1, 2018

At OpenBudgetsIndia it is our aim to make India’s budget data open, usable and easy to comprehend. As part of the initiative to improve the comprehensibility of the data, we started developing suitable visual aids(Data Visualizations). But given the complexity of budget data, just data visualizations weren’t sufficient. A culmination of visualizations, metadata, textual content and annotations are needed to understand and simplify complex budget figures. While data-based articles have been gaining importance over the years, there is a lack of platforms which are built specifically for curating and publishing data stories.

Since the launch of the data platform, we have built different tools and apps to visualize budget data with different types of budget datasets. Given the scope of budget data, it became difficult to scale due to multiple factors. Limited amount of human resources, data quality issues, ease of editing content, short and tight deadlines and few others were the contributing factor in limiting the scaling of operations. These factors aroused the need to build a platform which would have the capabilities of generating visualizations at scale and yet provide the ease of curating content like a CMS. We stitched together a system with the help of 2 open source projects - Apache Superset and DjangoCMS to create budget boards(Budget Dashboards). These budget boards help us to generate content at a scale(both in terms of volume and time) and improve the inclusivity of non-budget friendly audience to help them understand different aspects of data.


  • Brief Background Context.
  • How our data visualization tools/platform evolved at OpenBudgetsIndia.
  • Factors limiting the generation of data stories at scale.
  • What problems does a CMS solve.
  • Generating data stories. Data Visualization, Support Text, Annotations, etc
  • DjangoCMS - CMS for Developers.
  • Integrating other Django Apps to DjangoCMS. Plugins/Addons - SEO, Shareability, etc.
  • Improving Open Data demand - Showcasing how Open Data can be consumed.

Speaker bio

I have been working on the OpenBudgetsIndia initiative for past 2 years in the capacity of Data Visualization Expert and Full Stack Developer. I am responsible for building up of data pipelines/platform/tools/apps that provide, support and generate data visualizations for budget data. Love to work with Data, Web and UX. Previously lead Google Developers Group, Indore chapter as a co-organizer.


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