Query Wizard for International Development Statistics

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), 2008

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We were contracted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to work with the OECD to deliver an application that provides users with one-button access to rich data about aid-flows between the reporting countries. We simplified tasks by hiding the complexity of the data structure behind the application yet providing the expert user with ways to fine-tune the report and its layout.

The Client

The OECD is one of the world’s largest and most reliable sources of comparable statistics, and economic and social data.

Data complexity confuses users and burdens OECD staff

The OECD collects statistics about development projects from more than 30 countries and many government and non-government organizations. Their mandate is to provide these statistics through OECD.stat to stakeholders and interested parties in a flexible, timely way to assist with better aid decisions. The data is complex and difficult for those unfamiliar with its structure to navigate. Too often OECD staff was called on to provide information that users could have easily derived themselves given a suitable interface.

Hiding system complexity delivers a more usable tool

We partnered with DesignStamp to work with the OECD to develop a powerful, flexible and easy-to-use web application. The web application, named QWIDS or Query Wizard for International Development Statistics, allows users to obtain information they need without asking for help.

Our technology solution improved access to the OECD’s statistical data stores. QWIDS provides a simplified interface to a subset of development data, sitting on top of the existing OECD.stat infrastructure, and allows users to navigate through the OECD’s data, query the system and extract meaningful results while hiding its underlying complexity. It was developed as a Rich Internet Application (RIA) with an intuitive AJAX interface backed by ASP.Net and Microsoft SQL Server.

Technologies used

  • C#
  • .NET
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Webservices
  • Microservices
  • Ext JS
  • YUI