Population Dashboard - Shiny Contest Submission

Population Dashboard

Authors: Rhiannon Batstone

Abstract: An overview of Scotland's population trends over the last 10 years to help monitor and understand the demographic challenges in Scotland. Trends are shown in a clean overview with small multiples using Sparklines and icons.

Full Description: This app is an overview of Scotland's population trends over the last 10 years using Scottish Government published data. It is used to monitor progress and understand the demographic challenges in Scotland. The intended audience for this app includes ministers, cabinet secretaries, the general public, and other government officials.
The population trends are based on the following indicators with about tab which goes into more detail about these specific indicators:

  • Population Structure
  • Active dependency ratio
  • Life expectancy
  • Healthy life expectancy
  • Population change
  • Migration

The trends are shown with sparkline line charts and bar charts combined with increase/decrease arrow icons to make understanding of the trend as quick and easy as possible.

The user can select two of the 32 council areas in Scotland to compare to Scotland as a whole.

The app can take up to a minute to load, as it pulls a large amount of data from statistics.gov.scot with the Scottish Government created OpenDataScot package designed to easily interact with the statistics.gov.scot API.

Some data is not yet stored on statistics.gov.scot and so it is manually updated when those datasets are published.

The y-axis is not fixed for some of the trends. This was a conscious decision as this app aims to get a quick overview of trends. Line charts with flat trend lines can be hard to interpret especially when combined with an arrow icon indicating the trend has changed.
Having variable y-axes means the small changes are easier to see and match up with the increase/decrease arrows more clearly.

I have made it to be accessible and usable for as many people as possible, but there is still some non-accessibility content - detailed on the Accessibility tab.

Keywords: National Records of Scotland, NRS, Scottish Government, population, statistics, sparklines
Shiny app: Population Dashboard
Repo: GitHub - DataScienceScotland/population_programme_dashboard: This dashboard supports the Population Taskforce to understand the demographic challenges in Scotland
RStudio Cloud: RStudio Cloud


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