We're looking for a better way to gather complex data from our members and provide visualisations in a PDF report or online dashboard. Currently, we use Stacker to collect data, Airtable to store it, and PowerBI Desktop to build reports.
The data we collect is greenhouse gas emissions data, including several years of utility data, vehicle consumption data, waste production, paper consumption, and so on. Hundreds of possible data points for each member with a large degree of variation and dependency within those data points. One member might have a fleet of a hundred vehicles, and we need to know the make/model/year/fuel type of each one, plus the actual fuel consumption, while another member doesn't have any fleet emissions, but produces a large amount of refrigerants, and so on.
Stacker does not give us the dynamic flexibility we need for this ingestion project. Airtable Interfaces could potentially get us there, but we're not sure if it is as sophisticated as we need it to be especially with all the conditionals. We haven't explored Jotform or Appscript or other options yet.
Hi Sam, sounds like you've stitched together a couple of "best of breed" solutions to accomplish what you need: a data collection interface builder, a database, and a dashboard.
If you want a "whole in one" solution that gives you a flexible database, you could try Five (I'm one of the co-founders). Five builds data-driven web apps.
The advantages of using Five are: 1. You're only paying for one tool instead of three. 2. Five gives you a customizable MySQL database. You can create tables and relationships visually. 3. Five gives you an easy form builder to collect data. You can also create data grids to collect data. 4. You can also create different user roles with different permissions, or public forms for people without their own login. 5. Five lets you create charts and dashboards, but our dashboarding is not as sophisticated as PowerBI (that's the trade-off).
So in a nutshell, if you're looking to replace your current setup with one web application then Five could be a solution.
What are the challenges? The biggest challenge seems to be that you're collecting different data from different users. If you want this data to be collected in a proper database, you'll have to come up with some standardized way of doing this. Conditional ("show-ifs") can easily be created inside of Five and could be one way of setting this up.
If you would like to have a chat with us about how to do this, feel free to sign up on our website and I'll reach out to you separately to set up a Zoom call. Our URL is https://five.co
Hi Sam, thanks for the response!
A data grid gives you an editable, Excel-like interface to insert, update or check data. To see a data grid in action, check out this blog post: https://five.co/blog/free-microsoft-access-alternative/
There's a video right at the top. Go to 08:42min to see the data grid. Inside the data grid, you can filter, hide columns, pin columns, edit data, etc.
Regarding instances, Five lets you create multiple instances of the same application by simply replicating them in point-and-click.