As a multinational company with offices in five countries and about 1,000 employees, DataArt has a wide range of specialists across multiple technologies. Hundreds of projects are in development at any given time. But when the time for a new project comes we need free up specialized and qualified developers to work on it in order to meet the requirements quickly and effectively.
The “Bench” is our special feature, when specialists are placed ready to take up new projects immediately. This bench is always maintained at a suitable level.
I want to present to you this staffing system with an example how all the information for resource managers is visualized.
The relationship between businesses is relationships between people. So, the main aim of DataArt is to build strong, long-term relations between project teams and clients. With this purpose in mind we are guided when taking decisions to hire specialists, provide them additional training, and involve them in projects.
Every day DataArt resource managers hold a staffing call to synchronize activities. Managers discuss bench levels for each technology to know whether they need to hire new developers to keep the supply of free specialists at an appropriate level. Resource managers collect information about all available specialists in a common table that has a lot of information – names, numbers, locations, technologies and has room for additional comments and information. This multidimensionality was hard to reflect in a spreadsheet.
DataArt’s Data Visualization Competence Center received a request from the planning management group to enable the bench table to be easily and conveniently analyzed. It has to be mobile, interactive, and support the decision making process.
How to visualize a multi-layered cake
In addition to the coding we performed data analysis for a better overview with the help of the Usability Competence Center. Also we conducted a survey of resource managers to identify priorities and weaknesses and to determine the best focus to place on important information.
All these studies showed that we had to visualize a multiplicity of categories, such as:
- Technology: from .NET to QA
- Qualification: Junior, Middle, and Senior
- Location: 10 offices in 5 countries
- The bench situation for the upcoming 5 days and for the current day
- Number of developers for each technology and qualification
All these categories overlap each other, making all the information looks like a multi-layered cake. So we had to make this multidimensionality be filtered to obtain the required information about the current situation with employees in DataArt.
At first we took a pen and tried to present the information on a sheet of paper in a flat table format.
Our first task was to display the available specialists for each technology. We had to show multiple indicators like bordering areas of risk with color coding, which has already been used for a long time and was clear for users. As we noted during development, bullet charts make it easy to show the information we needed, with a help of markers and boundary zones. We slightly modified the concept of the bullet chart was the result.
Then we had to show the number of available professionals in offices of all technologies with gradation. We tried several options, and a radar chart allowed us to compare several categories on the same graph.
It is interactive and the data alters as the staff situation changes.
The bench report is available in all browsers, as well as on iPad or iPhone.