Data can be complex, but the way we interact with it doesn’t have to be.
Councils across the country are increasingly using tools like Microsoft’s Power BI to present complex data with easy to understand interactive dashboards. These present multiple sources of information in a visual format that makes them easier to engage with and allows users to make informed, data-driven decisions.
Here are three of our favourite examples of dashboards being used well in the public sector.
1. Road Casualty Statistics, Devon County Council
The Devon County Council road casualty dashboard brings together data from a variety of areas: demographics (age, gender, ethnicity etc), modes of transport, injury severity and geographical locations. In spreadsheet form, this would be an esoteric spaghetti of information.
The dashboard allows these multiple sources of data to be brought together in a visual format. It is easier to gain actionable insight into which age groups, using which type of vehicles, are involved in the most serious accidents and fatalities. Clicking on different districts for example, then reveals the data specific to just that area. Information can be used to micro-target information campaigns towards specific groups and make a direct impact on road health and safety.
2. Contracts over £5000, Camden Council
Here we see an example of data that must be gathered and made available to the public as a regulatory requirement.
However, this information is usually published as lots of confusing spreadsheets. This restricts the council’s connection to its citizens and turns off potential suppliers who might bid for work.
By presenting the information as a dashboard, the data can be easily viewed and accessed. This means greater citizen engagement and easier interaction with potential suppliers and bidders.
3. Delayed Transfers of Care, Rhondda Cynon Taff
Rhondda Cynon Taff Borough Council’s dashboard is a powerful example of how data visualisation, via Power BI, can be used to highlight and communicate a complex issue such as delays in transfer of care between hospitals and the community.
The dashboard uses interactive maps, infographics and a clear chart to bring the data to life and make engagement with it far simpler.
These are just three examples from councils across the country to boost data engagement and make complex information easier to understand, and so easier to action. Do you know a good example that we didn’t include here? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll add it to the collection.