Optimizing Choices Through Interactive Data Visualization

Student Classification



Industrial Systems Engineering

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2019


The undergraduate team from North Carolina A&T is one group of students across several other universities developing solutions for the North Carolina Food Bank and their Flexible, Equitable, Efficient and Effective Food Distribution (FEEED) Project. The FEEED project is a platform that was developed using technological frameworks such as Process Genius, Python, Plotly, Microsoft SQL Database, and web servers. The group’s objective is to develop a user-friendly platform that allows North Carolina Food Bank employees and volunteers to access and visualize data that will help them make more efficient decisions concerning food distribution across North Carolina. Due to the large volume of data the Food Bank utilizes, visualization of the of the distribution numbers were crucial. The research team hypothesized that Tableau may be the best tool for displaying interactive visualizations of the Food Banks data. Upon trying to integrate Tableau with the machine learning platform, Process Genius, we found that Tableau had limitations in being a stand-alone integration within our framework since the company will not allow the code produced to be open source. The team explored the open source data analytics platform Plotly, which allowed for better integration between the SQL Database, Process Genius and Python. The utilization of Plotly and python for large data may prove to be more advantageous in the future of interactive data visualization.

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