Data Visualization Tells the Story of Economic Recovery in Washington State

AWB Institute

The Association of Washington Business Institute (AWBI) supports the Washington economy by providing information designed to bolster the state workforce and build a thriving, resilient economy. The AWBI wanted a website that told the story of the economy by showcasing its pillars, economic vitals indicator and projects in the works.

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Examining Data, Identifying Opportunities

The vision for the AWBI’s new website, nearly three years in the making, integrated economic data provided by Eastern Washington University and messaging crafted by our friends at the public relations agency Desautel Hege. Then Covid-19 happened. The economy collapsed. And the indicators the AWBI needed to tell the story of economic vitality completely changed.

The strategy at the start of the project promoted economic prosperity. But as the economic outlook took a nosedive, the project focus shifted to presenting data indicators that told the story of recovery and provided information to help businesses and local governments identify areas of opportunity and improvement.

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Blending Data, Strategy and Design

The AWBI wanted the site to become a tool that stakeholders could use to view the economic landscape across multiple indicators including unemployment rates, median household income, broadband access and taxable quarterly retail sales. We designed a dashboard on the new site that displays data with interactive features and displays indicators at state and regional levels. Additionally, users can compare rates by region, by month and dating back to 2005.

Immediate indicators show a snapshot of economic health and are updated with a frequency that matches the pace of pandemic changes. Illustrating progress with up-to-date information is made possible through a combination of data from a variety of sources and databases.

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“This website exemplifies everything that I can remember we have been talking about over the last several years.”

-AWB Institute Board Member

Responsive and Engaging by Design

The economic vitals are presented in a single dashboard on the AWB Institute’s website so users can easily engage with the numbers that tell the story of growth and recovery in our state. Vitals scorecards can be printed from the site and responsive design ensures the data adjusts to fit the user’s experience. The website was build using React.js to empower a responsive experience so users can switch between different types of data and screen sizes.

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Progress Toward a Desired Future

Overall, the website is a comprehensive and dynamic resource supporting the economic health of Washington. For additional insight into the AWB’s work to support the Washington State economy, learn about its Rebound and Recovery website.