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2017 Product Roadmap

Curious where we're headed in the next year? Here's a quick outline of our product roadmap for 2017.

Background

I'm taking a slightly different approach to the Product Roadmap this year. Last year I tried to lay out a high-level roadmap for the entire year with estimates as to when we'd deliver certain features.

But as we worked more to systematize quarterly check-ins and further committed ourselves to agile development practices, I realized that planning for an entire year didn't fit our clients or this agile approach. We need some flexibility to respond to user needs as they arise and to gradually shifting industry priorities, too.

This year, we'll be continuing the quarterly check-ins. We're also exploring other ways to get additional input for feature overhauls. And most importantly, we're trying a different tactic with the roadmap. I'm taking a lesson from the VP of Product at Intercom and only doing detailed planning for the next 6 weeks and summary planning for the next 6 months.

Our mid-term roadmap is designed to address two needs/trends:

1 More powerful and shareable data visualization

We know that visualization is compelling for decision-makers as well as field staff, and we're working to make it faster, exportable, shareable, and more filterable. The new Indicator Targets vs. Actuals Graph was the first step in this direction, providing a much finer level of granularity in viewing by disaggregation.

2 A shift toward more granular and/or frequent data collection

Increasingly, we see clients shifting away from once-per-reporting-period data collection toward more granular data collection after individual trainings, surveys, events, etc. Our Data Table functionality was born from this need, but as the industry shifts, we see ever greater requirements demanding more indicator types, calculations, and filters; linking between data tables (to avoid redundant/incorrect data entry); and longitudinal beneficiary tracking.

Roadmap

Accordingly, here's what I expect we'll be working on over the next 6+ months:

Data Table Row Locking

Next 6 weeks; In Progress

This will extend the Data Submission and Approval/Locking workflow functionality we've had for Direct Entry data to Data Table Rows.

We have been teasing you with this feature for much of the last year, and I promise you, it is coming in the next couple weeks. We have put it through beta testing and extensive internal review; we're just putting the finishing touches on some tests and a few small issues raised during our internal code review.

IATI-compatible Exports

Next 6 weeks; In Progress

We know this is especially relevant to those of you operating out of the U.K. and Europe, where IATI compliance is already a requirement or will be soon. This will add an IATI export menu item for the Activity Reporting Periods, allowing you to generate an IATI-compliant XML file for upload to other systems.

New Dashboard Manager

Next 6 weeks; In Progress

We have already been working to rewrite our Dashboard Layout Manager and to expose the new Indicator Targets vs. Actuals Graph in a dashboard widget, but that's not all. We'll also support multiple dashboards per user and the ability to share dashboards with other users.

We're also hoping to add filters to the existing dashboard widgets so you can better display data per activity, per geography, etc.

This feature is particularly near and dear to me for another Product Management breakthrough: we'll be releasing a beta version of the new dashboard manager (minus a few widgets) to your live site so you can test it and give us feedback while still getting to use the existing dashboard! Expect a blog post on this release soon.

New Indicator Choropleth Map

Beginning in Next 6 weeks

Now that we've updated the Indicator Targets vs. Actuals Graph, we want to leverage all those bells and whistles in the Indicator Choropleth Map. We'll also update the dashboard widget (in the new Dashboard Manager!).

Map View of Activities Index

Next 6 months

We'll provide a Map view of the Activities Index so that the map will update to reflect all the filters you've applied on the search/filter of the Index, making the Map much more interactive.

Data Table Overhaul, Part 1: Architecture and UI Updates

Next 6 months

We'll be rewriting data tables from the ground up to enable a lot more functionality, filters, calculations, and a smoother user experience.

Pito Rewrite

Next 6 months

We'll be rewriting Pito to support displaying cross-disaggregated results and respect fiscal year divisions. We're hoping to enable some more advanced filtering options, too.

Data Table Overhaul, Part 2: Relational Data Tables

Next 6 months

You'll be able to create data tables and relate them to each other by linking columns to avoid redundant or inaccurate data entry. For example, you'd be able to store a Trainings data table that lists every training you've completed--including the location, training topic, trainer, etc. You could then link this to a separate Training Attendance table that would reference a TrainingID or something similar, so you wouldn't have to re-enter or copy/paste all those training details into every attendee's record. Indicators will then be able to reference both tables in their filters.

Pito Visualization

Begun in next 6 months

Long-term, as on the Indicator Reports tab, we envision Pito as being just one way for you to see data. We're planning to introduce the tabbed visualization structure we rolled out in the Indicator Reports tab to support viewing Pito data in sets of visualization, etc.

This change will eventually make its way to the Activity Performance tab, Results Framework overview, etc. It's a long-term effort we're hoping to begin in the next 6 months and to roll out in small pieces as we finish them.

Data Table Overhaul, Part 3: Longitudinal Beneficiary Tracking

Beginning in next 6 months

The long-term goal with the data table rewrites is to enable longitudinal beneficiary tracking, so that you could track a beneficiary's training attendance, etc., over time. This raises significantly higher security concerns around Personally Identifiable Information, etc., so this is a larger long-term undertaking.

Summary

As you can see, we have plenty to keep us busy in the next six months. Realistically, the larger efforts here will take us well into the second half of 2017, and undoubtedly we'll have to shift some priorities as user needs shift, but this is where things stand now.

Questions? Comments? Reach out to your implementation leads for more information or to make sure you're on the list of interested stakeholders for the features that interest you!

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