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Telling Your Story: Economic Impact Dashboards

February 11, 2022 Rachel Selsky, AICP

Would you rather read a 15-page report or play with an interactive dashboard? As long as all the information is the same, I wouldn’t blame you if you said the interactive dashboard.

While the full report is needed to provide the background information and methodology details (for all the data nerds out there!), a stand-alone report is no longer enough to effectively communicate the impacts of your organization or project. Over time, our team at Camoin Associates has made the transition to including infographics in our impact analysis reports, but even infographics can feel too static at times. Providing the results of an impact analysis in an interactive dashboard that tells the story and provides the user with control can be the most effective and efficient way to share the findings.

An interactive dashboard has the same information as the full report, but displays it in a way that may be more appealing and accessible for certain people. A dashboard can be an effective format for sharing information for individual projects as well as for impacts over time as more data becomes available.

Dashboards offer multiple benefits, including:

  • Greater Access: Being able to put the impact analysis results right on an organization’s website allows for greater access by interested parties, rather than stakeholders needing to download a report and dig through the details.
  • Additional Interest: As a more modern approach to information sharing, the dashboard is likely to generate more interest than a traditional report would.
  • Enhanced Transparency: With the ability to dig in deeper to the data that is most interesting to the audience, a dashboard can increase the feeling of transparency compared to other mediums.
  • Updated Regularly: The dashboard can be updated on the spot as new information is available or as the project is refined. This means the public has access to the most current data and is not reliant on older reports and outdated information.

Camoin Associates has completed several dashboards associated with economic impact projects. Dashboards are one of many tools we are using to help organizations more clearly define and promote their work.

  • The Nassau County Industrial Development Agency uses this dashboard to track projects that receive financial assistance from the NCIDA. The NCIDA updates this dashboard as soon as each project closes to ensure that it is constantly up to date with the latest information. This was prepared as part of the NCIDA’s efforts to increase understanding of the work they are doing and enhance transparency for constituents.
  • The New York State Economic Development Council prepared this dashboard to capture the impact associated with projects assisted by Industrial Development Agencies across New York State. This is all information that was already publicly available, but the dashboard provides a much more accessible format that can be used to understand the work being done.

Whether you are looking to have a user-friendly tool for your own internal use or to create a public facing dashboard, this interactive format is the next step in putting the critical data into the hands of decision makers and constituents.