Best way to build state data dashboard - cost, approach, APIs etc

01-27-2023 06:54 AM
New Contributor II


My name is Matt.

I have used ESRI tools in the past for work but not for personal tasks, so I am not coming at task from a desktop ArcGIS Pro perspective and I do not know the developer landscape well.

I am interested in building a state-focused dashboard in ESRI incorporating elements similar to some of these:

At the moment I am mainly interested in high-level recommendations about how to get started.

1. Is it possible to accomplish this kind of thing without cost or for low cost in ESRI? This is community advocacy with no commercial purpose. I primarily advocate for indoor air quality measures but this sometimes requires getting people to take context more seriously. I am thinking mainly of epidemiological context, but outdoor air quality data may also be useful for some of these objectives.

2. My background is primarily Python/Jupyter/SQL. Tableau and Power BI at times also. Have used many tools over the years and I enjoy learning new ones as time allows. I am agnostic about tools, just mainly want to get something basic put together as my state has de-emphasized water water monitoring for public health but the data is still there.

3. I recall the Johns Hopkins dashboard getting a lot of attention back in 2020. Are there any other specific example that jump out at people?

Part of what I have in mind is to make the tool very compelling to look at out of general interest. My state's open data initiative also seems to be mostly dormant, so this is a first stab at something the might expand later.

I may want to pull data from sources like:

and possibly additional public sources like my state's data warehouse, BigQuery public datasets etc.

Thanks for any thoughts or advice.

* sorry for not labeling. the selection list was not populating for me and nothing I tried was accepted.



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4 Replies
Esri Community Manager

Welcome, Matt!

Consider Esri Community to be your go-to spot for discussing all things GIS — a virtual gathering place where you can find solutions, share ideas, and collaborate to solve problems with the help of members from all around the globe.

Please be sure to check out the following Community-use resources to get you started in our platform: 

And some specific Esri Community locations related to your focus:

Since you're looking for recommendations about cost and what's possible with ArcGIS tools, you may also want to consider getting in touch with our Sales team for some guidance. They can be reached by phone, email, or live chat at: Contact Us 

P.S.— Don't worry about not labeling your post. There aren't currently any labels assigned to our Member Introductions Board, so it wasn't an option in this case.

Jesse Cloutier
Community Manager, Engagement & Content
New Contributor II

Thanks Jesse! This is helpful. I will review your links and consider reaching out. M

MVP Honored Contributor

Those examples are really nice. I think the closest thing you'll find in Esri is Insights. Dashboards can do a lot, but there's only so much you can get out of the charts there. To do real data analysis, Insights is what you need. That is, if you stick to Esri stuff.

Outside of Esri, and with your more familiar Python experience, there are lots of ways to work with data and build high-quality dashboards, like Bokeh and Plotly. You can find paid options that will handle the setup and hosting for you, but you can also use open-source graphing libraries to build the dashboards from scratch, and then host it yourself. More work, but cheaper!

- Josh Carlson
Kendall County GIS
New Contributor II

Thanks Josh. Appreciate this advice. Insights looks excellent and I see there is a free trial.

One of the things I liked most about ArcGIS Pro was the ability to store different types of connections and write SQL 'directly against the map' for rapid iteration. I never had much call to use the ESRI Python APIs at work but I would like to get decent at those also.

I like Plotly a lot and it's probably the main charting library I use these days. Bokeh I have used less but I know it has pretty rich possibilities. I am really open to anything but I have limited time and want to keep it simple, so integrated hosting is attractive. Then again, as you note, cost. We'll see what shakes out. Thanks again.

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