The Public Policy Forum (PPF) is a Canadian organization established in 1987 that builds bridges among diverse participants in the policy-making process and gives them a platform to examine issues, offer new perspectives and feed fresh ideas into policy discussions.
PPF was born out of the belief that dialogue between leaders in the private and public sectors leads to better policy. PPF has produced hundreds of reports since their inception in 1987.
One of their latest reports: “The Atlantic Canada Momentum Index” was released on March 22, 2023. The Study wanted to ascertain whether there was real and measurable momentum in the economies of the Atlantic Provinces of Canada. PPF, together with the Centre for the Study of Living Standards and a group of advisers from the Atlantic provinces, identified 20 key social and economic indicators to ascertain whether an Atlantic Canada momentum exists or if was just a bubble.
The “The Atlantic Canada Momentum Index” report in PDF format was over fifty pages long and very wordy as the author must explain background, methodology and data sources used in the report.
This additional information is often not very useful to a typical consumer of the report who might just want to quickly glean the high-level insights before deciding to jump into details. Depending on the learning style of the reader, the report format might or might not be the most effective medium.
PPF was also presenting the findings of this report to a live audience of key stakeholders at the Growth Summit which was to be held in Toronto on April 27, 2023. They expressed the desire to present the findings in a visual and interactive manner that would capture the audience’s attention.
PPF reached out to InterKnowlogy (IK) to help them overcome these challenges.
IK would design and integrate the report’s raw data into their flagship Insights Product to enable stakeholders to visualize key insights and focus them on what was important in order to help them make key policy decisions with important implications for the future of Canada.
IK took on the challenge and quickly integrated the PPF data into the IK Insights Product.
IK Insights Data Layering Engine allowed the data in the report to be interactively visualized in different dimensions. For example, Momentum index across the different Categories, time periods and Indicators could be compared between:
The comparisons above could be quickly visualized with a few clicks or taps on a touch screen as opposed to scrolling through dozens of pages in a PDF.
The data was not only displayed in an easy-to-read manner on the screen, but IK also used their expertise with Maps to display a geographic context of what was being compared on the screen.
IK’s data engineers went an extra step to not only visualize the Momentum between the two time periods in the Report (i.e., 2008-2015 vs 2015-2021/22) but also Momentum in the previous period (i.e., 2000-2008 vs. 2008-2015).
This Application could not only be used in a traditional PC/mouse paradigm but was designed to be even more user-friendly in a touchscreen/touch paradigm. This was especially effective in a public forum such as a conference or a seminar.
Using the Application on a large touchscreen, Politicians, Policy Makers, and Audiences were able to engage in interactive discussions during the Growth Summit and used the additional context available to enhance their decision-making process.
PPF was very pleased with how the Application was able to concisely visualize the key data from the Report and they want to now add a link to this Application on their website to act as a companion to the actual report.
PPF have also expressed strong interest in working with IK to help them visualize other reports in the near future.