Case Study

Data Visualisation puts New Zealanders well-being front and centre

Harmonic worked with The Treasury to present quantifiable measures of well-being.


The Treasury developed the Living Standards Framework (LSF) to help achieve the New Zealand Government’s vision of raising the living standards for all New Zealanders. The framework takes into consideration a more complete picture of well-being (in addition to economic and financial measures) and helps The Treasury advise The Government on the intergenerational impact of their policies upon well-being.

The Challenge

As part of the LSF, The Treasury sought to visualise and compare several indicators of well-being, and present well-being measures across three indicators; ‘Our country’, ‘Our future’, and ‘Our people’. Although intended to be primarily an internal tool, The Treasury wanted to make the dashboard widely accessible for public interest and transparency, as well as to encourage consideration of well-being-centered decision-making across the public service.

The Solution

The LSF dashboard amalgamated data from a wide range of OECD data and New Zealand General Social Survey Data. Consequently, as data quality and formats varied drastically across these input sources, Harmonic worked with The Treasury to ensure data was ready for visualisation by being consistently processed, refined, and formatted.

Harmonic also collaborated closely with The Treasury throughout the dashboard’s build to find a design, layout, and navigation which met their needs. Harmonic built the dashboard with R Shiny, ensuring it was responsive and cross-browser compatible.

As the dashboard was made available for public use, it’s usability was a top priority. Harmonic worked with The Treasury to optimise the visualisation’s accessibility and usability based on User Acceptance Testing.

Click here to learn more about the LSF Dashboard.

The Result

The interactive dashboard allows users to explore indicators of current and future well-being, with comparisons through time and against the rest of the OECD.

Benefits

  • An analytical tool promoting the inclusion of well-being measures in public sector decision-making and advice provided to Ministers.
  • A visual tool that provides a balanced and comprehensive view of well-being measures suitable for use in the Treasury’s policy advice processes.
  • A visual tool that enhances The Treasury’s current suite of fiscal and economic analysis tools, with respect to Social Cost-Benefit Analysis and better business cases.
  • Improved public transparency, by providing public access to information about population well-being in New Zealand, and information about various aspects that affect current and future well-being.