In Washington, government agencies and non-profits are in the business of presenting complex information. And when that information is data intensive, it’s challenging to find a way to present it so that people can grasp the points you want them to understand.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) faced this with the presentation of their biennial Science and Engineering Indicators Report. SEI, for short, is the premier source of information on the state of science and engineering enterprise in the U.S. and internationally. Over the decades of producing the report, NSF has always included hundreds of figures and tables to illustrate the topics it covers.
This year NSF retired its print edition, and the report was “reborn digitally.” Now viewers have a totally online experience with access to tables, figures, and state-by-state comparisons in a new framework that is more user friendly.
More source content is also available for download, so people can use original excel tables, for example, in their own research and presentations.
This week, NSF also launched a new condensed interactive data site that highlights key SEI statistics in a series of infographics organized by important topic areas of the main report. The site helps to boil down SEI’s thousands of data tables and figures into main ideas the National Science Board deems most compelling.
Our studio designed and developed the site. We have worked with NSF for more than two decades producing the print editions and consulting on SEI online, so we had a good understanding of the content and data.
NSF’s Infographic Website Provides Key Data on Human Capital and R&D Trends
International trends are illustrated using maps and charts to tell a story about evolving patterns in human capital, R&D, energy and knowledge-intensive activities. For example, the NSF web page above presents key stats which show the rapid growth of researchers in South Korea and China. Another image shows that over 35% of U.S. doctoral degrees are conferred to international students with temporary visas.
Data can be viewed on all devices and there are links to Excel files as well as individual graphic images. For policy makers, educators, journalists and industry leaders, NSF provides rich resources for articles, presentations, business planning and research. By presenting data with visually appealing infographics, readers get an overall picture of the S&E world in a short amount of time.