How the Statistical Office of Stuttgart is using data visualisation to deliver a wider range of information to its users
The Statistical Office of Stuttgart provides access to a variety of data sets that are used by planning and decision makers to understand social and economic trends within the city. Statistics help them analyse current situations and issues in order to make good decisions for the future.
The Statistical Office currently has about 40 members of staff. We spoke to Michael Haussmann in the Department of Population and Elections. Michael says the department provides important figures and estimates regarding population, finances and social structure. “At the same time, we act as an election authority - we organise all general and council elections in Stuttgart. Our geographic information system is part of the geographical data infrastructure and we use this to visualise the data,” says Michael.
The Statistical Office has good links with other statistical offices and the Department came across InstantAtlas at an early stage through colleagues in the Statistical Offices of Bremen and Hamburg. Michael says the reason they liked InstantAtlas was because conventional Web GIS Tools did not offer “multidimensional data cubes” for creating interactive dashboards and above all the department wanted to present the data in an easy to understand format.
Meeting the need
According to Michael, the „Datenkompass Stadtbezirke Stuttgart“ (data compass of Stuttgart boroughs) is one of the department’s most important projects. It has already been published twice as a print version and it is regularly published as an updated PDF. It allows comparison of the 23 boroughs of Stuttgart between each other and within the city as a whole. This is now available as an interactive online report and users include individuals from different departments such as: administration; politics; science; economy and the public.
As for feedback, the department always has an eye on traffic so that it delivers what users want. “The difficulty is to know now what kind of data will be needed in the future,” says Michael.
The department is planning to use interactive dashboards to present social monitoring data possibly using a drill down menu. It is also looking into using interactive atlases to present election data which will help the department improve the information it provides on the intranet and internet.
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