ICAC was losing relevance with the public because it was difficult for users to interact with the massive amount of information it maintains. Its statisticians maintained the data in Excel, but formulas began to fail and the spreadsheets were collapsing under their own massive weight. Users began emailing statisticians directly to request specific information, forcing them to wait for the data they need and adding to the statisticians’ daily workload.
ICAC approached Gen10 to create a user-friendly, interactive World Cotton Database that allows users to find, compile and visualise the exact information they need.
The World Cotton Database needed to manage production, supply and consumption statistics for 130 countries, dating back to 1921, but also in a constant process of being revised and updated. The Gen10 Framework was deployed to gather macroeconomic data from around the world and compile it into a central database, then implement a workflow to ensure the data was clean and accurate.
The normalised data is now displayed online using Gen10’s d3 Analytics, which allows people to see the big picture but also drill down to granular details, identifying trends and understanding the information in a way they never could before. The solution is used to help people from academia to to the trade to interpret world balance sheets including production, supply, demand and year-ending stocks.
“I’ve been working with cotton statistics for more than 27 years, and as a user of the World Cotton Database myself, I can testify to the effectiveness of Generation 10’s solution. The newfound ability to visualise our data has completely changed my perspective, and now I am constantly learning something that I never realized before.
“The availability of this vast amount of data and the entirely new ways people can analyse it have already begun to seep into the industry’s consciousness. We’ve reduced the workload on the Secretariat because they don’t have to respond to emailed requests every day. The people who used to send emails to our statisticians are now able to get the information they need on their own, without delay.”
Terry Townsend, ICAC Executive Director, 1999-2013
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