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Matrix Approach to Feedback Data Retrieval and Display Disclosure Number: IPCOM000014955D
Original Publication Date: 2001-Jul-07
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20
Document File: 4 page(s) / 76K

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Matrix Approach to Feedback Data Retrieval and Display


Key elements of the matrix approach idea:

The contents of the matrix can be completely polymorphic. It can contain and display any type of

object, and within that display, any number of rows, columns, or cells can be presented. The information seen in each cell can change to represent the type of object being displayed, and the information can be raw data, links, images, or anything that can be contained within the space. The size of the matrix is expandable in both width and height, and the size is determined dynamically.

It will be just as large as necessary to contain the information that's being displayed. The size of each row or column within the matrix is also dynamically determined and can be different

from another row or column within the same matrix. This aspect allows for a sparse matrix, or one in which some rows/columns can contain more data than others, or some cells contain nothing at all. Even with this possibility, the overall size of the matrix will not be restricted or impacted. The depth access of the matrix is completely flexible. Any links provided within the matrix can serve

as "drill-down" links that can take the user to a more specific report, which can still be in the same matrix format. Similarly, the links can serve as "expand-up" links that can take the user to broader reports, showing more generalized data, again, in the same matrix format.

The benefits and uniqueness of these key elements:

The matrix approach provides an easy-to-use, intuitive, and efficient way to get to everything you

need, all within a small space (e.g., all on one web page). The drill-down and expand-up links described above can exist within cells and speak to individual

data elements, or they can appear at the ends of rows or columns, and then represent subsets of the data in that report, grouped by that row or that column. These links can take the user to more matrix displays, with even more customized displays of information. The key to the uniqueness of this matrix is that any cell in the matrix can serve as a vehicle to display

information and/or to route the user to another matrix representation of the data. This allows for yet another distinct dimensional view of the data and access to even deeper (or broader) levels of matrix views.


For courses held at an education center, feedback was recorded in a DB2 database for various classes. In response to instructor and class manager need for dynamically created and customizable reports to extract this data from the database, we created a web-based reporting application. In doing so, a requirement was in place to present large amounts of feedback data to the users. The data consisted of numerical and textual data, and could apply to two different types of situations: modules (individual classes within a "school") or events (instances of a "school"). Once the user has used the application's tools to de...