A new plugin application is available for agileBase – the Timeline Information System. The aim is to allow evidence based problem solving in complex environments. For a business view of the issue, check out this post, or for a more technical discussion read on.

http://leanitforsmes.wordpress.com/2011/08/31/evidence-based-problem-solving-in-a-complex-environment/

Often, there is much data available in any database system, across a period of time, but no easy way of building a narrative to explain its meaning and impact.

The new TIS allows you to add narrative data points along the top of a page on a timeline – any event data can be added and coloured according to type. Descriptions of each event appear when the mouse is hovered over a point. Below this time-based narrative, a series of charts can be added which will show the same time period as the timeline, maintaining the link even when you zoom in or out to show a shorter or longer timespan. This allows cause and effect match-ups to be seen, between the narrative and the charts, or between one chart and another.

One obvious use is for Marketing Information Systems – you may wish to show events such as trade shows, campaigns, PR, relevant industry news etc. against metrics like website visits, signups, sales etc. and possibly even external metrics like stock values or GDP.

This screenshot is another example from a successful day session with an IT department that was struggling to understand what the main causes of instability were in their platform.

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