Category Archives: Interactive

For advanced data analysts: new STATA code for interactive 2D charts

Usually we focus on no-code, simple tools that anyone with a computer and some data savvy can use, but we’re making an exception for this STATA add on that we’ve heard quant buzz about from analysts we know.

For anyone out there who routinely uses STATA to generate charts and graphs, you’ve got a new option for automatically generating interactive (tool-tip enabled) 2D graphs from your data using Highcharts (free for non-commercial use), which a Javascript enabled chart generator. The output is an HTML file that can be dragged into any browser.  Not necessarily the most beautiful visualization you’ve ever seen, but the simple means of creating interactive charts is exciting!

Check out the full run down on GitHub.

Kaiser Family Foundation launches new interactive budget data explorer

Today the Kaiser Family Foundation launched a new US Global Health Budget Tracker platform that lets you explore and drill down through the data on USG budget allocations for global health programs, including trend data from across the appropriations process. You can disaggregate the data by fiscal year, agency, program area, and initiative. In addition, they’ve provided some “featured budget data” on high interest areas on the landing page.

KFF Interactive Funding Viz


Interactivity promotes exploration, and well-designed interactivity helps you engage users in a memorable experience. One of the greatest benefits of interactive features is that they create a more engaging, interesting, thought-provoking experience for your user. They also let you share your big-picture, high level themes and takeaways first, and then allow the user to explore the information you’re sharing and learn more about the details. 

Playing with the new platform from KFF, they’ve built a tool that seems comprehensive, visually interesting yet simple, and easy to customize so that you can drill down to the information you’re interested in.

What do you think of the new platform? 


Visual Storytelling Tools

Check out this great example (visual below) of the new Tableau Public 8.2 (currently in beta) Story Points feature. In the latest release, Tableau is adding a feature that allows you to click through a visualization (instead of the usual clickable dashboard format) that you can customize in a myriad of ways. I love the single frame visuals that are connected with a common storyline – it shares a lot of information, but doesn’t overwhelm, as a dashboard might, and lets the designer highlight key points and views that could get lost on a dashboard.

The format reminds of the concept/design behind Nancy Duarte’s Slidedocs templates, which can be helpful when you’re trying to find ways to present information in a visually enticing format, keeping text minimal but impactful. Have you used either of these tools or something similar to build a visual, clickable storyboard, combining data and text? I’d love to see more great examples!

Capitalizing on the World Cup: An Indicator Dashboard


Some of the most popular data visualizations capitalize on seemingly unrelated current events. Take, for example, the Wall Street Journal’s “World Cup of Everything Else” dashboard. Users select from a list of indicators to see which of the World Cup countries would “win” if the competition were for country with the most rainfall, biggest urban population, or highest obesity rate. These facts aren’t new, but packaging them in a tournament bracket layout brings a fresh interest to the data.

Most of us working in global health may not think that the World Cup is a prime opportunity for sharing data. But thinking outside the box may invite new users to explore our data. For many, events like the Olympics or the World Cup may be the first exposure to different cultures and ways of life. Why not be creative and encourage competition for “longest life expectancy”?

Do you have any creative ideas for linking global health data with  pop culture?

New Interactive Map of US Development Initiatives

The Rethinking Development team over at the Center for Global Development has created an interesting, interactive mapping tool for identifying where USG-funded development initiatives are happening (by country). You can select aid, trade, or investment initiatives, and then generate a map by program stream or funding cycle.

Continue reading New Interactive Map of US Development Initiatives