Primer is the principal front-page experience for uploaded datasets. This mobile responsive page enables publishers to surface valuable metadata and make sure users see the best visualizations, maps, and views for any given dataset.
When Primer has been activated, completed by activating Site Appearance settings for Header and Footer, instead of initially encountering a dataset via a table view, users will see a dataset's 'Primer' page instead.
Note that for Open Performance, when a user clicks “Explore the data” from a Prevailing Measure on a goal page, they will be directed to the Primer page of a dataset first. The same will occur if a user wants to explore the data from a table view.
On a Primer page, you’ll find several areas highlighting aspects of the dataset. Users with a role of "Admin" or "Publisher" can configure the Featured Content that appears; find out how to perform that action here.
A Primer page includes:
- Info Pane - At the top of the page you’ll find key metadata including the dataset title, description, the data provider and the following fields:
- Updated - This will use the most recently updated time of Date Last Updated, Metadata Last Updated, and Date Created.
- Date Last Updated - The most recent date of when the data was updated.
- Metadata Last Updated - This will be updated when a working copy is published or when metadata edits are saved.
- Date Created - This is the date of when a dataset is published for the first time. Changing a dataset’s visibility will not affect this date.
- Downloads & Views - The number of times a dataset is visited or downloaded is not updated in real-time. It may take up to 24 hours for the number to be reflected. There can also be a discrepancy for this number due to caching. Clearing browser cache or ‘hard refreshing’ the page can show the latest counts.
NOTE: In the case that the DataSync job does not alter the contents of the dataset, the time for Date Last Updated will not be updated.
Key navigation is also found here, with options to view the data table, download the data, access the API or share it socially.
- Featured Content - Find up to 3 featured visualizations, stories or other content from around the web. Users with a role of "Admin" or "Publisher" curate this related content, if no content is configured then this section will not show for users.
- About this Dataset - This section gives insight into when the data within the data was last updated, when the dataset's metadata was updated, and when the dataset was created.
- What’s in this dataset? - Get a quick snapshot of the total rows, total columns and what each row of data represents.
- Preview Data Table - It is possible to view all the rows of the dataset, 10 at a time, right from the landing page. If you want to filter the dataset or create a visualization, process to the table view using the Explore Data button at the top of this section.
NOTE: The preview data table will display a maximum of 65 columns. To view all the columns of a large dataset, click on 'View Data' which will open the grid view page of the dataset.
- Public Views Created from this Dataset - See and explore the most popular views that have been created from this dataset. The most popular three appear by default, but find more by click Show More.
How can a data Primer be used?
A Primer contains the information that you need to introduce yourself to that data. Ultimately, the information here can answer questions such as:
- "Is this the data that I'm looking for?"
- "How up to date is this data?"
- "What is the data being used for now?"
Making your data Primers useful
Primers are most useful when dataset metadata is thoughtful and complete.
Dataset owners and editors, have you:
- provided a complete description of your dataset?
- filled out all the applicable metadata fields, including row label?
These small updates can make a big difference in how your users are able to interpret and use the data that you are providing.
Featuring related content will also enhance your user’s experience, read on to learn how to do that.
Configuring Primer Featured Content
When logged into their Socrata account, users with a role of "Admin" or "Publisher" will find an option to manage the featured content on the Primer page.
From the Manage Featured Content screen, you can add up to three different assets to feature. Three types of content are currently supported including: visualizations from this dataset, a Socrata Perspectives Story and external web resources.
- Add a Visualization - Choose from a list of visualizations and/or filtered views that have been created from this dataset. The title, description, and image will automatically populate from the visualization. If no visualizations have been created yet, you can follow the prompts to create one for this dataset.
Choose one, by clicking on the preview, that you think really represents your dataset so that users will be able to understand it easily.
- Add a Story - You’ll see this option if you have Socrata Perspectives on this site. The title, description, and an icon based on the asset type will automatically populate from the story.
Add the link to a story to guide your users to relevant narratives based on this data and don’t forget to save!
- Add an External Resource - Create a link to any external asset relating to this data. You’ll configure the title, description, and image that show for this content. Don’t forget to save to add it as featured content.
It could be an awesome visualization on the web, a blog post about how the data was released, or a link to another part of your site.
When you’ve configured the Featured Content to your liking, click Done to add them on the data's Primer page!