A civic-minded citizen seeking the singularity

An entry

Prototyping with Airtable

Date: 2016-02-20
Status: release
Tags: airtable database spreadsheet d3

I found Airtable a few months ago and was excited at the blended interface - it feels like both a spreadsheet and a database. And given it had an API, I was sold. I've recommended a few people to use it for various use cases, and I'd encourage you to give it a try as well.

Airtable allows you to create spreadsheets of information that automagically become API endpoints.

In the office, we have used Radar charts to visualize information captured during performance reviews and such. I created a Sheet in Airtable then added Column Headings for the things I wanted to track, then created 3 Rows in the Sheet, just to test it out.

Lastly, I accessed Airtable's API using the airtable .gem, and fed it to a D3 radar chart I found online. Without a legend, let me clarify, the results below convey radar matrices for 3 Employees — each a different color: I imagine this data would be more interesting if it depicted cross-functional skillsets required (as to see how well the team is balanced and how much skillset coverage is achieved - for example, level 5 expertise in specific disciplines). I'd also like to be able to specify a Project's Capability requirements, and see if a smart-matching algorithm could assign optimal resources, based on the skillsets of available Employees.