Data Entry Made Simple
Although your data is one of your most precious assets, no one enjoys spending countless hours digitizing and organizing it. To reduce this burden, b.world now enables in-line data entry (i.e., enter data directly into the data table), temporarily hiding columns in the data table, downloading an indicator table to Excel, and copying data from Excel and pasting it into a b.world indicator data table. All of this new functionality is intended to help build capacity in your organization so that you can spend more time working with and for the people and causes that are important to you rather than on administrative tasks.
In-Line Data Entry and Validation
One of the most notable improvements we’ve made to the data entry experience with this release is the ability to enter data in-line—this is, directly into the table—versus clicking on a cell or row which triggers the sidebar to open, entering data in the sidebar, clicking Save; then clicking on the next row, entering data in the sidebar, clicking Save, so on and so forth. Now, data automatically saves after entering it in each cell in the table, eliminating the need for Save buttons, and creating a smoother and quicker data entry experience. Data validation—or messages that appear when the entered data is invalid—is also part of the in-line data entry experience now; a message will appear adjacent to the relevant cell right after invalid data is entered, alerting the user to the mistake immediately and requiring them to fix the issue before continuing. This ensures that “bad data” isn’t retained and that issues can be addressed on the spot.
All of that said, we have still retained the sidebar data entry experience as well based on input from a group of trusted users. The sidebar enables hyperfocusing on one reporting at a time, which may be helpful if only entering data for one reporting period during a data entry session and/or based on personal preferences.
Copy/Paste from Excel
We acknowledge there’s a good chance that you use Excel to enter and track project data and/or crunch numbers, or perhaps that’s the downloaded format from the survey tool(s) that you use. We’re not looking to eliminate Excel from your life if it’s an essential tool that you envision using for the foreseeable future. That’s why we’ve introduced the ability to copy and paste data from Excel into b.world. You can copy as much data as you want with a single copy and paste from an Excel worksheet to an indicator data table in b.world. We believe and hope that this new feature will be a huge time saver for many of our users and will make it easier and quicker to take advantage of other features in b.world that rely on data: auto-generated data visualizations, AI-generated insights, and AI-generated stories with quantitative data.
Download Data Tables to Excel
As noted above, we fully realize that you may need to use tools in addition to b.world across your social impact program lifecycle, including Excel for external reporting purposes, additional number crunching, etc. That said, we know that it’s important for you to be able to extract your entered data from b.world or download a blank data table from b.world to enable data entry outside of the application.
A prior release introduced the ability to download an entire logframe from b.world to Excel—with or without data—but we realize that, in some cases, you may not need an entire logframe, but perhaps just one or a couple indicators. Wait no longer: this release introduces the ability to download an individual indicator’s data table from b.world to Excel. The table will look exactly as it does in b.world and will include any data that’s been entered thus far (and will be blank if no data has been entered). This feature combined with the copy/paste from Excel is the precursor to a full integration with Excel. The downloaded Excel sheets can be used online or offline and can be used by anyone that you send them to—whether or not they are a b.world user. This capability can be especially helpful for teams with multiple professionals doing data entry—potentially across different country offices, at a desk or in the field, or with or without an Internet connection.
For anyone who has ever viewed data in or entered data into a table, you know that horizontal scrolling can be the bane of the user. Don’t get too excited—we haven’t fully eliminated horizontal scrolling in b.world; that’s not entirely possible for indicators with loads of dimensions and disaggregates. However, we have introduced the ability to temporarily hide columns to temporarily eliminate or reduce the amount of horizontal scrolling. Using the new ‘Choose Columns’ control which sits at the top left of each indicator data table enables temporarily hiding as many columns as you’d like at any given time to make it easy to focus on a particular subset, either for viewing or data entry purposes. A more usable experience translates into a less time-consuming experience which is surely a positive outcome when it comes to entering, viewing, and making decisions using data.
Minor Bug Fixes and UI Enhancements
Project Overview: Some information was not saving properly on the stakeholder cards, but now it does.
Project Whiteboard: Loading “spinner” added when pushing content from the Whiteboard to the Logframe to inform the user that the system is working on their request.
Project Logframe: The ‘Copy from’ functionality which enables copying Measurement Properties (e.g., disaggregates) from one indicator to another on a logframe was broken, but has been fixed.
Project Logframe: Issue with copying a logframe from one project to another project with a similar project title has been fixed.
Project and Global Stories: New 'Action' button which can be inserted into stories to enable directing the reader to a user-designated URL.
As always, please continue to share your feedback and let us know what you love or if anything is not functioning as expected in the platform. If you're new to b.world, check out a video overview of the platform and then sign up for a free 30-day trial here! Thank you for your ongoing involvement and insight as we strive to design and build the best b.world we can for you and your social impact colleagues around the world.