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In an era where digital connectivity and data transformation are at the forefront of societal progress, the role of institutions and City Councils in fostering transparent communication through the provision of meaningful information cannot be overstated. Datastores play a pivotal role in this dynamic, serving as a bridge that conveys meaningful information from government entities to the public. These platforms enable citizens to access and understand data that can significantly impact their daily lives and the community at large, fostering transparency and enhancing civic engagement

Barcelona City Council, recognising the crucial role of effective data communication, faced significant challenges with its Datastore. The issues ranged from multilingual information management and the absence of a search engine to the presentation of data through old graphs and charts, all of which hindered the portal's ability to effectively convey information to local citizens

Thankfully, Bestiario was on hand with a cutting-edge data transformation solution designed to address these challenges head-on. With this solution, Bestiario was able to redefine the way Barcelona City Council's data was presented and accessed, setting a new standard for how cities can engage with their stakeholders through technology.

Read on to find out what this innovative solution was and how it has benefitted local citizens.


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What Is Barcelona Datastore?

Barcelona City Council's Datastore (Portal Barcelona Dades - PBD) is a pivotal online platform that systematically compiles and publishes a comprehensive collection of statistics, indicators, and sector-specific studies relating to the city. This extensive repository of information is designed to cater to a wide array of stakeholders, from local citizens to researchers and policymakers

Barcelona Data Store

The PBD's primary aim is to become the go-to platform for local citizens to find, show, and share important information about the city. It is a cornerstone in the council's efforts to ensure transparency and help people make smart choices based on good information. It also plays a crucial role in the process of data transformation, where raw data is converted into meaningful insights that can directly benefit the community. By providing easy access to essential city data, Barcelona City Council's Datastore significantly empowers citizens, enhancing their ability to understand and engage with the urban environment around them, thereby fostering a more connected and informed Barcelona.


The Challenge Faced By Barcelona City Council

Despite the best of intentions, Barcelona City Council was confronted with a significant challenge with its Datastore. 

This challenge was multifaceted:

  • Multiple platforms: Data was scattered across various platforms, making it difficult for stakeholders to find, access, and share the information they needed. This fragmentation posed a barrier to effective information sharing and use.
  • The portal had no search engine: Instead, pages were isolated from one another and users could only access them by navigating through a hierarchical menu of themes and subthemes. This setup made finding specific information challenging, as users had to manually sift through various sections without the aid of search capabilities..

Lack of graphical representation: The lack of graphical tools available on the portal was preventing users from consuming and understanding data. In fact, there were no graphs and charts available for the vast majority of data, so it was difficult for users to understand and engage with the information they found.

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Addressing these challenges was crucial, and Barcelona City Council recognised the need for a comprehensive data transformation strategy. This involved not just updating the technical infrastructure but also rethinking how information was presented and accessed. Their needs at that moment were clear: to create a more intuitive, user-friendly, and efficient way to navigate, understand, and consume the city's data. By doing so, they aimed to foster a better-informed public and ensure that decision-making, both by local citizens and policymakers, was based on timely, accurate, and comprehensible data.

Essentially, what Barcelona City Council needed was an innovative data transformation solution that could overhaul the existing system, making it not just more accessible but also more engaging for everyone. The solution had to bridge the gap between complex data sets and the average user, translating technical data into formats that were easy to understand and use. That way, every stakeholder, regardless of their level of technical expertise, could engage with and benefit from the wealth of information provided by the city


Bestiario’s Innovative Data Transformation Solution

Bestiario stepped in to tackle Barcelona City Council's Datastore challenges with a comprehensive and innovative data transformation solution. This solution was designed to streamline the process of accessing, understanding, and sharing city data, transforming the portal from a complex and outdated system into an innovative and dynamic platform.

Barcelona Data Store

So, what did this solution involve?

For one thing, the project demanded a meticulous process of understanding and aggregating data from various platforms in different formats. Bestiario's task was to unify this data to achieve greater coherence and consistency, a fundamental step in the data transformation process. The architecture of the new portal was designed and developed to meet advanced needs for searching, viewing, sharing, and accessing information. This was aimed at fulfilling the specific requirements the city council had for improving access to city data.

Another key component of the solution was the collaborative effort with the client's team, specifically the Municipal Data Office (OMD), which played a crucial role in aggregating and organizing data into a new SOLR database. This foundational work by the OMD enabled Bestiario to develop a search engine equipped with an advanced indexing model. Thanks to the OMD's meticulous data preparation, the search engine can now deliver the most updated and relevant results efficiently.

Furthermore, leveraging the well-structured data provided by the OMD, Bestiario developed a dynamic graph rendering engine. This engine produces updated, attractive, and easy-to-understand charts that significantly enhance the visualization of information. These improvements in data representation not only make the data more accessible but also greatly improve usability and comprehension for users. The interactive and visually appealing graphs can be accessed and viewed across various devices and screens, further enhancing the user experience. This collaboration between Bestiario and the OMD exemplifies how effective teamwork and data management are pivotal in transforming and modernising data portals.

Lastly, the portal includes an Administration System that ensures the autonomy of different teams in managing the platform's operation. This aspect of the solution underscores the seamless data transformation achieved by Bestiario, not only making it easier to share information but also empowering internal teams with the ability to maintain and update the portal as needed. In addition, the Administration System included features for managing CMS content, users and profiles, and the content indexing algorithm.The result is a platform that not only meets the current needs of the city but is also adaptable to future demands, bridging the gap between the city's data and its citizens.

Explore BPD for yourself:

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Post by Bestiario
February 21, 2024

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