Data dashboards should visualise the data that people have contributed in a manner that makes the data accessible and open for everybody involved. Ideally, the dashboard will visualise the data in a way that can address the issues and questions the community have flagged as relevant to them. A data dashboard can play an important role in increasing knowledge and understanding for the whole community, and can become a catalyst for further action.

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  • In collaboration with the development team, assemble ideas put forward during the Scoping and Planning phases to understand what type of data will be gathered. Research existing open tools and dashboards that could potentially suit your needs or act as a starting point for development.
  • The Sensing Strategies & Community Level Indicators canvasses are useful here. These will help the community plan what they want to know, and a data dashboard can help visualise key questions. Keep in mind that the dashboard should, at the very least, give a brief snapshot of activity on the campaign issue, based on the indicators you are measuring and the sensors that have been deployed.
  • Create an open development space (like GitHub) early on so you can share your work, and give other community members the opportunity to contribute.
  • Set up a step-by-step development cycle connected to community meetings. Use these meetings to present and further develop the dashboard, remembering to get feedback for the next iteration.


Sensing requires that data be presented back to the contributor: the better the data visualisation, the easier it is to understand it.


Keep in mind the following guiding question while implementing this method: 1) How can we access the data, and in what format? 2) How is the data visualised? 3) What does the community want to find out? 4) What information is most relevant to the community?
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