Steven Placek

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In this article, I present some examples of opportunities for agencies to depart from the inscribed method. These examples of display “de-scribe” administrative law data, making the data more visually active, multi-variate—with additional context and greater density. In Part II of this article, I review examples of the current state of data display for administrative law agencies and show how the inscribed method limits complex displays of data. In Part III, I introduce the concept of the sparkline, which is the fundamental unit of visual data display in the big data era that appears in organizational dashboards and analytics deployments. I discuss how sparklines can apply to the display of legal administration agency data and, when applied, encourage agencies to establish performance metrics and display data that cut across a greater number of dimensions for their activities. This application reflects an agency transition to the beginning of an analytics mindset. In Part IV, I address how an agency decision to implement formal analytics software and platform tools for its data fits within the broader context of business intelligence and processes. In Part V, I discuss how the principles of complex data display give rise to dashboards and analytics modules that track, display, and operationalize case data. In this regard, I will share some lessons learned through the experience of establishing an analytics capability at the National Appeals Division (NAD) at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).