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Case Study

Costa Rica Propone

Social entrepreneurs and organizations empowered through the use of data


Costa Rica Propone is an umbrella for several social initiatives from the Social Innovation Board of the Government of Costa Rica. In this first phase of the project, we designed and developed a solution to visualize the Social Progress Index applied to the different regions of the country. The data visualization tool serves as the base for social entrepreneurs to make more data driven decisions, in order to channel efforts and investment according to the right needs.

Visualizing complex data at a glance

The Social Progress Index is a combination of over 40 different variables, this meant that we had to make it easy for anyone to understand what is the state of each region. This data would serve as a base for social entrepreneurs, community, and government on each region to create projects or to help on existing social projects that are critical to improve the region community.

Costa Rica Propone

The Process

With a tight deadline and a two day workshop, we were able to produce prototypes and iterate on them until we found the right solution to represent an accurate visualization of the data. We created a usable and easy to use interface that let you explore and consume in a journey full of curiosity and easy to compare regions by just their color.

Costa Rica Propone
Costa Rica Propone

Nerd Talk

The main challenge of this site was to present a large amount of data in a friendly way that allowed users to "play" with it while learning and data mining. This required a good amount of interactivity so we used Angular to easily implement all the interactions, and D3js to draw all geographic elements of the site.

We were also faced with the fact that a large quantity of data was ready for the user to explore, but transmitting it all at once was not an option. For this we created a Node.js based server that interacted with a NoSQL (mongodb) database to send the user the minimum amount of data to satisfy it's needs at any moment, without making it too scarce or hard to find. Finding the right balance was the key to give the site excellent performance, and the user filled with valuable data.

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