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Given the fact that benchmarking is one of the most prevailing RIS3 methods applied essentially by many regions, Benchmarking tool is the main tool for performing more sophisticated computational comparisons between regions, into a web-based dashboard. This application helps RIS3 stakeholders to derive basic information regarding the place of their region compared to others, in a quick manner.

The proposed tool provides a web interface where users can import regional data and then select a region of their preference to compare it against other regions. Various statistical metrics are obtained (minimum, maximum, mean, quartiles, Kernel density diagrams etc.). Τhe user can export benchmarking results in the form of tables and figures, or print the final benchmarking report produced by this application. This framework provides the user with the ability to import his own data, by importing an excel file from his local space or use regional data using Regional Assets Mapping tool.

The logical steps of the application, based on its methodological description are:

  • Step 1. Data import tables into the framework.
  • Step 2. Selection of group of regions to examine.
  • Step 3. Statistical analysis on regional data will be performed.
  • Step 4. Tables and charts will be generated.
  • Step 5. The user can save and export the results.
  • Step 6. A final benchmarking report will be produced, for the user to be able to make an extended interpretation of the results.

Following the application architecture described in previous steps, the information flows within the application are given in Figure 1, below. It should be highlighted that the initial input coming from the user, defines the group of regions that will be analysed, as well as the period to which it refers to. The processing of these data, in terms of benchmarking analysis, is based on table or graphic format, which will be illustrated on the application. Individual tables or graphics including the results, can be extracted through the application.

The main output of the application is the final report of Benchmarking exercise, which will give the user a comprehensive picture regarding his/her region compared to a group of other regions, for the chosen time frame.

Figure 1 Overview of the information flows within the Benchmarking application

Figure 1 Overview of the information flows within the Benchmarking application.

How to use this application step-by-step?

Step 1 – Selection of source of input data and import data

During the first step of the application, the user will have to choose the main source of data for his analysis. The options offered are: a) importing an .xls file or b) generating a new table (Fig. 1a).

    Figure 1a:  Step 1 –Import data from .xls file

    Figure 1a: Step 1 – Selection of source of input data

  1. Import of an .xls file

    One solution is to use xls data generated from the Regional Assets Mapping application. A screenshot from this application is presented below indicating the way for extracting the data (Fig. 1b).

    Figure 1b:  Step 1 – Screenshot from the Regional Assets Mapping application during the creation of the input data for Benchmarking Filters for searching

    Figure 1b: Step 1 – Screenshot from the Regional Assets Mapping application during the creation of the input data for Benchmarking Filters for searching

    After the selection of regions and the variable to be benchmarked, the user has to download the data in an .xlsx format (Fig. 1c).

    Figure 1c:  Step 1 – Screenshot from the Regional Assets Mapping application during the creation of the input data for Benchmarking –Final table results after searching

    Figure 1c: Step 1 – Screenshot from the Regional Assets Mapping application during the creation of the input data for Benchmarking –Final table results after searching

    In the Benchmarking app, the user will have to press the Browse button to locate a file to upload. The data will then be shown in table format (Fig. 1d).

    Figure 1d:  Step 1 –Import data from .xls file

    Figure 1d: Step 1 –Import data from .xls file

    The user is able to clear or edit the imported data of the table by using a specific editing screen. It is necessary to set a reference region, which will be in the spotlight of the benchmarking exercise (by pressing the Set Reference button that appears when hovering over each region). The application also gives the user the opportunity to deselect specific regions that he wants to exclude from his benchmarking analysis. Finally, the user can select the types of output he wants to investigate and press the ‘Run’ to obtain the results. (Fig. 1e).

    Figure 1e:  Step 1 – Set reference region and group

    Figure 1e: Step 1 – Set reference region and group

  2. create a new table: the user will have to first define the table size (number of rows and columns) and then complete the data to be included in the table (Fig. 1f).
    Figure 1f:  Step 1 – Create new table

    Figure 1f: Step 1 – Create new table

Step 2 – Results of the analysis

In the second step of the application, the user will be able to see the selected indicators for the benchmarking exercise (Fig. 2a-d). The results are grouped into three categories:

  1. Descriptive statistics: this section includes information referring to the selected group of regions regarding the min, max and average values, as well as the differences between these values and the reference region.
    Figure 2a:  Step 2 – Descriptive statistics

    Figure 2a: Step 2 – Descriptive statistics

    An additional functionality of the application offers the opportunity to export these data in an excel format or CSV format. This can be done by pressing the Download Image button at the end of the table (Fig. 2b). The pop-up window gives the user the opportunity to open the file or save it in his/her computer.

    Figure 2b: Pop-up window for downloading the data in a table format

    Figure 2b: Pop-up window for downloading the data in a table format

  2. Quartile statistics: this section includes information referring to the selected group of regions regarding the quartile distribution of the selected variables. First, the quartile values of the distribution are given, and subsequently the corresponding quartile ratios are also calculated. This information is essential, as it provides useful insights regarding the inequality that might exist within the selected group of regions that are investigated in each case. It moves one step further from the descriptive analysis.
    Figure 2c: Step 2 – Quartile statistics

    Figure 2c: Step 2 – Quartile statistics

    Moreover, the results referring to quartile analysis are also presented in a table format, including all grouped regions (Fig. 6d). As it can be seen, different quartiles are indicated with different colours in this table, which can be exported as an image (.png) by pressing the Download Image button at the bottom of the graph.

    Figure 2d: Step 2 – Quartile statistics in table format

    Figure 2d: Step 2 – Quartile statistics in table format

  3. Step 3 – Kernel diagram

    The third step of the application offers the opportunity to visualise the distribution of the selected group of regions on a Kernel diagram (Fig. 7a). The reference region is highlighted in this case, in order to ease the benchmarking process. As previously, it is possible to export the diagram in an image format (.png) by pressing the Download Image button at the bottom of the graph.

    Figure 3a: Step 3 Selection of the appropriate visualisation mode for the data

    Figure 3a: Step 3 Selection of the appropriate visualisation mode for the data

    Step 4: Export of final benchmarking report

    In the last section of the tool, the user can write his comments related to the benchmarking exercise to be included in his final report (Fig. 4a).

    Figure 4a: Step 4 - Include user comments

    Figure 4a: Step 4 – Include user comments

    By pressing the Export Data button located in the right menu, the user can export his input data to an .xlsx file in order to keep the changes he may have made. Moreover, the app gives the user the opportunity to export his benchmarking exercise to a .doc report. The generated file contains the input data and the output results if included in the list of preferred output types. A case study example and test data are also available to help the user to better understand the tool before beginning his own exercise. Test data must be downloaded locally and then uploaded in the Upload data section (Fig. 4b).

    Figure 4b: Step 4 Menu options & export report data

    Figure 4b: Step 4 Menu options & export report data

Related documents

Selected use cases using the Benchmarking tool of the Online-S3 platform:

Will be uploaded soon

Selected RIS3 strategies including Benchmarking method in their implementation process:

Benchmarking

In this section you can upload the table in .xlsx format (you can use the Regional Assets Mapping application to create your xls file — see Guide) or create a new table and complete with the data you want to benchmark. In the table created, it is necessary to select a reference region, which will be the in the spotlight of the benchmarking exercise (by pressing the ‘Set Reference’ button that appears when hovering over each region). You can also deselect from the table the regions that you want to exclude from your benchmarking analysis. Finally, you select the types of outputs you want to investigate, and press ‘Run’ to get the results.

These fields are required.

   
Descriptive statistics include a set of metrics referring to the selected group of regions regarding the min, max and average values, as well as the differences between these values and the reference region. You can export these data in an .xlsx or .csv format.
Quartile statistics include information regarding the quartile distribution of the selected variables and group of regions. Moreover, the results are also presented in a table format. You can export these data in an .xlsx, .csv or .png format.
This section offers the opportunity to visualise the distribution of the selected group of regions on a Kernel diagram. You can export these data in a .png format.
In this section you can write comments related to your benchmarking exercise, which will be included in your final report.