Analytics and data visualization models, tools, and techniques are extremely interesting to us and the readers of this blog but what about Joe the Plumber? Does he care about data visualization? Does it come into his life at all? He may not care or realize that it does come into his life but government sites like www.recovery.gov ensure that Joe the Plumber or Mick the Milkman (what, you don’t have a milkman?) can use data visualization and analytics just as well as a novice Line of Business manager can use business intelligence tools.
Check out Recovery.gov, which if you haven’t looked tracks the money allocated and spent by state for the United States Recovery Act. The very first graphic on the page has a highly analytic state-by-state overview of Recovery Act spend. Highlight your state and you will immediately get data points presented for total Recovery Act funds awarded, received and the amount of jobs created from those funds. Very cool use of analytics on the back-end and a dashboard presentation on the front-end.
But wait, the visualization smorgasbord gets even better – select your state and you can get detailed visual information on:
- Federal awards in your neighborhood
- Detail on every award state-wide
- Award recipient by topic (i.e. university, energy, transportation)
- Project status details including Not Started, In Progress, Completed
What do you think of the government’s use of data visualization on Recovery.gov? Does it make you blue with envy? Or are you seeing red instead?