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.
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 – Selection of source of input data
- 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
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
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
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.
Figure 1e: Step 1 – Set reference region and group
- 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
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:
- 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
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
Figure 2b: Pop-up window for downloading the data in a table format
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
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
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
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
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
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: