visualize | communicate | ENGAGE
The county of West and East Agder is responsible for regional development, upper secondary education, transport, culture, economic development, public health and dental services. The councils provide information to a wide range of stakeholders about what is happening within each of the municipalities and regions.
Getting started with InstantAtlas
Espen Moseidjord is a project leader for the provision of statistics for West and East Agder county. He says there is a high demand for data and statistics, but as this comes from a number of different sources, it has in the past been difficult to present a composite picture. “This was the impetus for developing a new statistics and analytics portal,” he says. “We wanted to give users a way of getting hold of the latest data so political decisions could be based on real facts instead of assumptions.”
He first came across InstantAtlas through a project called Knutepunkt Sørlandet (Southern Norway Hub) for one of the regions. The region had been involved in an INTERREG project with Niedersachsen/Bremen in Germany which was using InstantAtlas. “We were looking for a solution that would allow us to present data using maps and enable users to make time series comparison so we felt InstantAtlas was the right option. I found it very easy to use. As well as using the tutorials I got a lot of help from the InstantAtlas Support team,” he says
Meeting the need
The portal was launched and now provides users with a single source of up-to-date data. InstantAtlas is used to present data and helps users make time-series comparisons between municipalities. “Being able to see different aspects of data on one page without having to do too much to get there makes it a brilliant tool for data visualisation. The ability to compare municipalities at a regional and national level is probably the biggest advantage and the most useful. We are now able to display a huge amount of data on one page in an easy-to-access way,” says Espen.
As for feedback from users, the site is still being piloted and he has been visiting the municipalities and regions to show them the portal. “They can see how it will help them understand where areas of unmet need are and also how it can be used to inform and monitor the health and socio-economic status of our municipalities/counties.”
Espen has recently included the double map feature although this has not yet been published on the portal. Espen also hopes to expand and organise the content of the existing single-map. This expansion will include new indicators. “I would also like to carry out some research by collecting data and presenting it through the portal,” he says.
Top technical tip
Don’t give users too many ways to visualise the data. Even if you have a lot of data it is best to present in a user-friendly way with fewer diagram and chart options.
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