I have a database with the data of all the company personnel in and out through several facilities (All people must put their fingerprint in the scanner to open doors)

I'm looking for interesting way to expose the data.

Have you worked on something similar or have a nice idea to implement?

  • Interesting question! are you going to show that on a form (web or desktop)? or in a report (PDF, spreadsheet...)?
    – Roimer
    Dec 21, 2012 at 14:15
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    What have you tried so far for this? It'd be easier for us to provide ideas if we know what you've tried and discarded so far.
    – JonW
    Dec 21, 2012 at 14:18
  • @Roimer: It's for an interactive web page (ASP.net MVC Backend + HTML + Javascript (Jquery)) Dec 21, 2012 at 14:37
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    The question shouldn't be what are the possible way to expose the data, there are countless ways of doing that. The question is what the data is used for, what the user is looking for. What are the insights the user is trying to extract from the data. Dec 21, 2012 at 16:18
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    @EduardoMolteni I didn't mean that it's vague, I'm suggesting a more effective approach to solving the problem. You're asking what visualizations are there, and you should be asking "what visualizations will help me understand the following aspects of the data: ____". Dec 21, 2012 at 17:42

2 Answers 2


My idea:

If you want to show the movement data to someone who is a bit more pragmatic, instead of using line charts, you could use a simplified map of the place.

  • Each building - a rectangle
  • Each person - a tiny circle/square
  • Each department - a color-coded row of persons;if you want to track individuals as well, you could asign to each person a specific position in that row.
  • Every building has rows for every department

Using the data you have, you take a snapshot of where everyone is every 5 minutes, and redraw the map every 5 seconds and animate the persons that move (for example from building 1 to building 3, to their respective department/rows)

Put a big clock at the top and voila, you can see:

  • which department moves around the most
  • which building is preffered by which department
  • at what time do people move about the most etc.

I made a drawing, but: "... Earn more than 10 reputation to post images."

Edit: Here's the drawing: individual tracking

  • An animated timeline for the day it's a very good idea. Dec 27, 2012 at 12:57

Here's what I ended up building for now (not all the data collectors are operational)

  1. A graph for the total hours worked every day of the month. Plus the average per day
  2. A "Punchcard" graph showing the in/outs each hour each day of the week.
  3. Two ranking showing the people that arrive at the office earlier and who worked the most (or at least stayed in the office the most :)

enter image description here

  • How do you think this visualization helps to gain insight into the movement of people within the building? I am finding it a little bit difficult to interpret and understand straight away. What is the story here, and what does it tell you about the people that you don't already know from the raw data?
    – Michael Lai
    Mar 26, 2013 at 0:09

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