A new client project targets the development of a knowledge management platform focused on modern slavery, forced and child labor. The target users of this system are researchers, policy experts, academics, and staff of government and non-governmental organizations working to address these global challenges. A key objective is to easily manage, publish, and visualize data sets related to these areas of study and policy making. We have therefore defined a system architecture with two major components – WordPress for general content management and CKAN to support the specialized workflow for managing quantitative datasets.

WordPress is a proven open source content management system, and will support day-to-day online publishing tasks.

  • Creating, editing, and publishing web pages
  • Publishing blog posts and articles, including text, images, and other rich media
  • Managing taxonomies used in tagging conent, faceted search, and navigation
  • Registration and user management, including roles and privileges

CKAN will provide the administrative backend for managing dataset and related assets – graphics, maps, and interactive data visualizations built using the D3 JavaScript library. We selected this open source platform because it offers impressive built-in functionality.

  • Capability to easily upload and manage datasets by organization
  • Web interface for searching and browsing datasets
  • Capability for administrators to create and manage organizations, datasets, and users
  • Email notifications for new or updated datasets based on administrator-specified triggers
  • Capability to generate charts and graphs for an uploaded dataset
  • Data automatically grouped by contributing organization and subject matter
  • Capability to upload and publish pre-made data visualizations
  • Role-based access to resources for users and administrators

Moreover, CKAN is extensible and can be customized for a fit-to-purpose system.

  • Custom functionality is supported by plugins built by the CKAN community
  • Custom forms support specialized workflow for data administration
  • Backend is extensible to support calculations such as Sector’s Growth Factor (SGF)
  • Custom visualizations can be easily published to provide interactive maps and charts to encourage user engagement
  • Customized reports can be auto-generated for administrators
  • CKAN is comprised of widely used technologies including Python, JavaScript, JQuery, PostgreSQL, and others

A future post will feature the Quoin Tech Talk and a more detailed look at CKAN as a platform for development.