Helping users find data faster with taxonomies

Photo: Erol Ahmed on Unsplash.

Cantabular helps users build custom statistical outputs directly from row-level data. But it can also be set up to give users shortcuts to standard outputs, which we often call ready-made tables.

These could be the data tables that are most popular with end users or those that the data publisher thinks are most important. Either way, the shortcuts help users get the data they need faster.

Better searching through ready-made tables with search filters

In the latest version of Cantabular, we’ve added new functionality to help users search through the available ready-made tables more easily, using search filters.

The video below shows it in operation on our website for the Ireland 1911 census:

And you can try it out for yourself here.

Powered by taxonomies

The key change to our software that enables this is the addition of taxonomies.

A taxonomy is a way of classifying things. In the example above, data tables have been classified with the census topic they are related to and the geography variable that they use.

But taxonomies in Cantabular are completely flexible: if you want to classify tables by product or by language or by licence then that can be done too.

Once taxonomies have been set up in the metadata, a simple change to the user interface makes the search filters for your taxonomies appear in the right place.

Screenshot: taxonomies for table search filtering for the 1911 Ireland census

Screenshot: taxonomies for table search filtering for the 1911 Ireland census

Future plans for taxonomies

With this new concept now available in the software, we’re planning to extend it in future in a couple of ways.

  • Variable search: We will allow variables to also be classified by taxonomy. We can then enhance our variable search functionality to use taxonomy-based search filtering.

  • Hierarchical taxonomies: We’re considering extending our current flat concept of taxonomy to allow hierarchical taxonomies and hence hierarchical selection of them as well.

Want to know more?

Contact us to find out more about how Cantabular can help you publish your data.

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