Understanding the 2017 RDOS budget

  • Posted on: 21 February 2017
  • By: Michael Brydon

One of the things I teach at Simon Fraser University is a course called Business Analytics.  Part of that course is the emerging field of "visual analytics", which is really just a fancy way of saying charts and graphs.  I personally am a big fan of charts and graphs and have been trying to create a tool to translate the massive RDOS budget into a series of pretty pictures.

I finally have a dashboard for my own use and, based on feedback from some other communities, I have launched a slightly simpler version for the general public.  It is still very much in the prototype stage but I think is at the point that it is useful and informative. If nothing else, it compares favorably in complexity to the paper/PDF version of the RDOS budget, which you may download for your reading pleasure here.

I invite you to take a look at the dashboards and let me know what you like and don't like about it.

  1. The dashboard can be accessed here. I find the only requirement is a modern web browser on a computer.  There is too much information here to render on a phone or other small device.
  2. I have created a quick-and-dirty walk-through video to highlight the tool but also to explain the 2017 RDOS budget. It is likely a good starting point if you are interested in such things.


The data comes from the RDOS and is stored in a data warehouse.  There are always data quality issues to track down and I am doing this bit by bit.  Please let me know if you see something that is obviously wonky.

Finally, the tool includes more sophisticated functionality for benchmarking. For example, we can compare our cost of fire protection (per household) to that of Area E (Naramata) and Area D (Kaleden, OK Falls, et al.).  I hope to post another walk-through video on this in the near future.

Update March 11, 2017: New video is here (includes updated/reduced parks capital expenditure).