case studies

Report generation from multiple data sources

Client: Government of Australia

Deliverable: Automated print and web publishing process


The Australian Government required a comprehensive report to be prepared for print (200 pages) and web publishing. It entailed integrating dozens of data sources, preparing 150 or so charts and commenting on them.
Data – particularly that presented in charts – was constantly revised during the preparation of the report, so it was important to be able to update them efficiently.

Both web and print documents needed to be kept in sync.


Commonwealth Print and Web Report
Creating the final print and online report involved the development of three separate but integrated tools:

  1. In consortium with content experts from the University of Melbourne, Strategic Data automated the extraction of data from the various data sources (including databases, spreadsheets and web resources).

  2. A second program built charts automatically from extracted data; if data changed the charts would always reflect those changes, not only speeding this process by orders of magnitude but reducing the chance of transcription errors being introduced.

  3. A third program built both the web and print versions automatically from all the component resources (ie the charts, tables and text) guaranteeing that both versions were identical


The published document (web and print) was generated moments after the final changes were made. Any future reports can reuse the automatic framework, requiring only that updated data is provided and new commentary is written.