• Written by Jana Gombitova
    2 September 2019

Above: Where two streams meet. Photo by bfjiant, 24 August 2014.

Do you remember how elephants guide our product development here at Akvo? This principle is based on the idea that when you are to tackle a huge change, you need to take it one slice at a time. With our data journey methodology, our data and development experts, and our products, our goal is to support you in your data journey so that you can unlock the power of your data, improve your decision making, and strengthen your impact. To ensure that Akvo Flow and Akvo Lumen provide a simple and solid data platform for you to work with, we decided to streamline the connection between the two products. When approaching this change, the guiding principle has again shaped how we work - one slice at a time. 


Our goal is to support you across your entire data journey, from programme design and data collection to analysis, visualisation and sharing. That's why we're bringing Akvo Flow and Akvo Lumen closer together. #Akvo #Data4Dev

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Unifying our offering and price

By improving the connection between Flow and Lumen, we’re not only strengthening your data workflow but also simplifying our offering. From now on, you get both Flow and Lumen for one price as part of your data journey package. Instead of purchasing Lumen as an add-on to Flow for an extra 30% of your Flow price, you get both tools at 15% on top of your Flow pricing tier. Akvo Caddisfly remains an optional add on at the same price. By working with both Flow and Lumen from the start, you’ll be able to simplify your data processes, which will allow you to reach decisions in a more effective and scalable way.

We understand this change creates new opportunities for our existing partnerships. Our team will be in touch with you in the coming weeks to discuss details. In the meantime, you can read on to find out about the exciting changes we’ve made so far and the steps we plan on taking next.

Simplifying working with Flow data in Lumen

The first slice we took of this large change was focused on making sure you can analyse all Flow data types in Lumen in an easy and visual way. In Lumen, we made dataset updates more robust so that changes in Flow were properly reflected. We also simplified analysing and visualising Flow data in Lumen. Not only can you now easily extract water quality data or geoshape metadata to compare area sizes, but you can also create categories based on your text or number data and visualise all these in our maps or different graphs with more options for customisation. 

Next, we will focus on handling data coming from multiple-answer option questions and repeated question groups. Today, these data types require you to restructure the dataset before you start transforming and visualising it. We are looking for ways to streamline that workflow. 

Above: A GIF showing Lumen’s new category column in the works.

Strengthening working at scale

At Akvo, we help you work with data in a fast, simple and scalable way. Regardless of the size of your organisation, the number of users working with the products, and the amount of data you collect, we want to ensure a simple and reliable user experience. That’s what we’re working on with slice number two. 

We are currently changing how you manage users across Flow and Lumen. We started by aligning the login process. This change will also remove the restriction of only supporting Google email accounts in Flow. After that, we will switch to having only one user account for both products so that your access and roles are unified.

We are also working to simplify large scale monitoring efforts. We are changing how assignments work to allow you to push specific data points to specific enumerators. This way, you can ensure that each enumerator only gets the data points that they need to regularly update. This will help to better coordinate large scale monitoring initiatives and also reduce the number of duplicated data submissions. 

Supporting large scale data efforts also means making sure you can capture data anywhere, even where the Internet is slow or unavailable and mobile data is expensive. With our newest feature, offline maps, you can save areas to your phone or tablet and use the map when you’re offline. 

Above: A GIF showing how offline maps work in Flow.

More value with each and every slice

By improving our products one slice at a time, we can get a better overview of the challenges you’re facing and add value to our products faster. Moreover, our approach helps us to deliver constant improvements that you can already benefit from. Our goal is to provide you with a seamless experience from data collection to analysis, visualisation and sharing. Each slice we take brings us to a more connected data platform, making it easy to go from data to insights in a simple and fast way so you can improve your decision making and strengthen the impact you strive for. 

As always, we’ll keep you updated on our next slices here at Akvo. In the meantime, you can get in touch with us if you have any questions.