For many, the strength of an economy can be a nebulous concept. Although impacted by a variety of different factors and forces, the strength of an economy is frequently reduced to lone metrics such as unemployment rate or whether the Dow is up or down. But the strength of an economy is more than just one number.
The Connecticut Mirror, a nonprofit, digital-based news organization covering public policy in Connecticut, recognized this fact and reached out to the School and State Finance Project in April 2020 about developing an interactive, user-friendly tool that would provide their readers with a more informative look at some of the factors impacting the state and national economies.
To meet these goals, our data and communications teams worked collaboratively with the publisher and CEO of The Connecticut Mirror to design, develop, and launch an Economic Indicator Dashboard that offers readers a quick, interactive look at 10 key indicators for better understanding the state of Connecticut's economy.
From economic indexes to consumer confidence metrics to housing and employment data, the Dashboard includes a range of indicators that were selected to provide a broad look at Connecticut’s economy, and show users how the economy is impacted by different factors. The Dashboard features visualizations for each key indicator, as well as descriptions summarizing what each indicator is and what information it provides. The Dashboard was built using the visualization platform Datawrapper and uses Google Cloud Platform to automatically update the indicator visualizations every time new data is released.
To help drive a successful launch of the Dashboard, the School and State Finance Project developed a communications plan for The Connecticut Mirror to publicize the new tool and also created social media graphics for the outlet to use on their social media channels.
Since its launch, not only has the Economic Indicator Dashboard amassed nearly 1,500 views, it has provided The Connecticut Mirror’s readers with greater data and information about the state of Connecticut’s economy, and helped advance the outlet’s mission and end goal of “more informed and politically engaged residents, greater transparency in policy-making, and a stronger democracy.”