Data visualization is a method of presenting information through visual aids like charts, diagrams, or pictographs. The numerical data collected can also be expressed in dots, lines, bars, and other means to show inverse or parallel relationships. Businesses regularly use data visualization in a variety of ways, from showcasing company growth for stakeholders to plotting revenue projections for internal teams. Data visualization is a useful tool to make sense of complex data, help viewers better understand what data is saying, and create powerful stories to inform decision making.
But data visualization isn’t only for businesses and organizations in the private sector. In fact, data collections and graphical presentations are immensely useful for government agencies to study and interpret their community’s needs to make better decisions.
The Power of Data
Data-driven processes are the key methodology for government solutions moving forward, but it’s important to present data in a manner that’s digestible and accessible to the average person. This is where data visualization plays a vital role in increasing productivity for government programs and presenting information through curated dashboards.
In this article, we share three examples of the importance of numbers and figures in visualizing data for government agencies.
1. Chicago’s Data Portal
During Rahm Emanuel’s time in office as mayor of the city of Chicago, one of his many platforms was to increase transparency around the local government’s spending and decisions. Collaborating with Tom Shenk, the city’s then Chief Data Officer, his office launched a Data Science Division. This department applied advanced analytics on different forms of information collated through summarized reports from various sectors.
The Data Science Division eventually launched the Chicago Data Portal – a massive library of more than 900 data sets covering different sectors such as education, finance, public safety, geographic boundaries, and more. This accessible archive of data was key in allowing public participation in government decision making and led to more effective collaboration with local authorities.
2. Redwood City’s Economic Boom
Although Chicago’s approach to data visualization was targeted more on information dissemination, Redwood, California’s response leaned toward boosting economic activity. Their interactive dashboard collected and stored data that helped local businesses determine the economic conditions of the city. This allowed business owners to identify the city’s revenue streams and provided opportunities for entrepreneurs to enter the market with a higher chance of success.
The Redwood City dashboard is currently the highest viewed Redwood City website page, with more than 4.5 times the average page views of other landing pages. This is a sign of growing interest in the impact of shared information, especially to inspire economic growth.
3. COVID-19 Response
COVID-19 was one of the many novel challenges of the year 2020 and continues to be an issue today as communities worldwide look ahead to recovery. USAID approached this challenge by developing and implementing the Federal Emergency Management Agency data visualization website. It provides interactive maps and pertinent disaster information so government agencies can develop and undertake appropriate responses to potential super spreader events.
Partner agencies have already started working on a two to four-year roadmap with COVID’s continued impact in mind, demonstrating that the value of data-driven strategies will only grow in the future. These types of data visualizations will also be helpful for disaster responses of all types – whether it’s weather events or other viruses.
Government agencies can learn a lot about how businesses are utilizing digital platforms and data visualization to refine their business models. The examples above are just the tip of the iceberg in addressing different societal and economic problems that we currently face. With a better understanding of data analytics and the role of digital platforms in changing society, local, state, and federal government entities will benefit more from data-driven decisions.
At Gemini Enterprise, we provide advanced analytics solutions for businesses to make it easier for your organization to express data and analytics seamlessly. Our tools can intuitively transform your collated information to compare trends and visualize projections for different projects. Contact us today and we’ll collaborate on the right analytics solutions for you!