Above: A labeling of objective 1 key result 3.

Syracuse Performance Dashboard in Client Side JavaScript

Client — I was an intern at City of Syracuse Innovation Team

Date   May 2019 – August 2019 (I worked on this at the same as I was a storytelling intern (content production) at the Syracuse Innovation Team.)

Project status   Proof of Concept

Repository link https://github.com/CityofSyracuse/PerformanceDashboard

Proof of concept website https://cityofsyracuse.github.io/PerformanceDashboard/

Technologies used D3 JS, Chart JS, JavaScript, Bootstrap, Interacted with R Language, Github pages

Technologies explanation: – D3.JS was used to split up CSVs. – ChartJS was used to make the charts on the page. –Bootstrap was used for the styling.


For an internship at the Syracuse Accountability Performance and Innovation ( Innovation team / iTeam) I was tasked with porting the current dashboard to something besides its current state of being 5+ individual R (R lang – data analysis language) scripts that would render the website. The goal was to make it easier to update the site. My implementation relied on hosting the site on Github pages, using ChartJS to create the graphs due to using SVGs it had a lighter performance hit than D3 based charting libraries. The code can be found here on the City of Syracuse’s Github repository: https://github.com/CityofSyracuse/PerformanceDashboard.   Note: The performance dashboard operates in a 3 layer design. The first layer is a broad view of all of the objectives that exists on the home page. The second layer is the specific objective pages that focus on the key reuslts in that objective. The third layer is a deeper dive on a specific key result. I was not able to tackle the problem of creating individual deep dive pages for the third layer 3, but I was able to achieve creating pages for the 1st and 2nd layer.



I worked with Jesse Cases a former data analyst on the Syracuse Innovation Team to understand how the dashboard was created and understand the major pain points in it. The major issue was the performance dashboard was 5 or more R scripts that had to be ran in a specific order to generate the HTML. So my thought upon hearing this was to create a static website that you could just change the data fed to it and it would update the dashboard.





Creating a data structure:


I created the data structures I envisioned for the site by having them broken up into separate CSV files. The way I constructed these files was using D3 to initially to parse a CSV data dumps into separate Objectives, main page, and key result banner data. Within each of these file is the following header: “obj”,”OKR”,cardDescription,on_time,out_of_total,dataDescription,timeDescription,

A JavaScript script fetches that data and interprets it and fills it into the HTML template.


The two data points that are interpreted strangely are “movement” and “color”.
If “movement” is:


  • 1 – an arrow pointing “up” will be presented.
  • 0 – a double horizontal arrow will be presented.
  • -1 – an arrow pointing “down” will be presented.


If “color” is:


  • 2 – the top rectangle will have a green background, and “success” will be shown.
  • 1 – the top rectangle will have a yellow background, and “On our way” will be shown.
  • 0 – the top rectangle will have a red background, and “Problem Solving” will be shown.





Above: A labeling of objective 1 key result 3.


Above: A labeling of objective 1 key result 3.

Key result data points structure:



Note: there are no color or movement fields. Also, category_or_dept is the department the field is for. “variable” is what we are measuring. “value” is our percentage value. “on_time” is the amount of money that has been spent. “out_of_total” is the amount of money allotted. A JavaScript script fetches that data and interprets it and fills it into the HTML template.

This is from the combined_percentage_data.csv https://github.com/CityofSyracuse/PerformanceDashboard/blob/master/data/combined_percentage_data.csv

Objective 1 Labels

Extended key result financial data:


There are key result points that stray from the norm and have extended financial data with them, these are Fiscal Objectives.



This is from the FiscalObjective2.csv

Key Result Banner Labels

Financial objective labels. These values are filled in from the FiscalObjective2.csv


Key result paragraph data:


For each objective page there are key result banners that appear before the specific data points. These are summations for the category. This data is in a keyResultBannerData.csv.

This is from keyResultBannerData.csv. https://github.com/CityofSyracuse/PerformanceDashboard/blob/master/data/keyResultBannerData.csv

Financial objective labels. These values are filled in from the keyResultBannerData.csvFinancial objective labels. These values are filled in from the keyResultBannerData.csv


The charts data:



The charts are loaded in from the combined_data_v4.csv. It has some unique values compared to the other data structures. OKR, date_or_period, category_or_dept, variable, value.


The value of date_or_period is the numbers 1-12 corresponding to the number of a month. OR, if the value is outside 1-12 it may be a UNIX time stamp to indicate an exact day.


The file can be found here: https://github.com/CityofSyracuse/PerformanceDashboard/blob/master/data/combined_data_v4.csv


A JavaScript script fetches that data and interprets it and fills it into the HTML template.

Chart Labels

Chart labels. These values are filled in from the combined_data_v4.csv



When I received the source files the site was not correctly set up to use Bootstrap. In my restructuring of the site I created Bootstrap compliant templates for each page. Some styling issues that I encountered were making sure the sites were ADA compliant in terms of contrast levels. Also, I wanted to make sure there were tool-tips (the message that pops up when you hover) on the chart points.




The site uses github pages to host the site so as to reduce the IT cost that curretly exists.


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