top of page

3&4: Critique by Design

3&4: Critique by Design

3&4: Critique by Design

Winner - Philips Service Design Challenge 2023

2.2:Government debt-to-GDP Ratio

Aman Sinha, Telling Stories with Data

September 6, 2023

The general government debt-to-GDP ratio measures the gross debt of the general government as a percentage of GDP. It is a key indicator for the sustainability of government finance. Debt is calculated as the sum of the following liability categories (as applicable): currency and deposits; debt securities, loans; insurance, pensions and standardized guarantee schemes, and other accounts payable. Changes in government debt over time primarily reflect the impact of past government deficits.

Revamped Visualization

Various data visualization methods serve distinct purposes and are chosen based on the kind of story being narrated. Bar charts, for instance, are ideal for comparing discrete categories, making them suitable for displaying data like sales by product. Line charts excel in illustrating trends and changes over time, making them suitable for time-series data such as stock prices. Pie charts are effective for displaying parts of a whole, like market share percentages. Scatter plots are used to visualize relationships between two variables, while heatmaps reveal patterns in multidimensional data. The choice of visualization method depends on the data’s characteristics and the insights one aims to extract.

For the above-revamped data visualization, I chose a column chart - a common data visualization graphical tool that uses vertical bars or columns to display data points, making it easy to compare values across time periods. Each column’s height corresponds to the magnitude of the data it represents, providing a clear and intuitive way to discern trends, patterns, and variations in the dataset. For this visualization, I was trying to highlight the data points (debt-to-GDP) values over 100% since I wanted to craft a story around countries that have been consistently scoring more than 100% indicating unsustainable government finances. I created an animation with three charts - the first one with >100% data points highlighted (yellow and red bars together), the second with all data ranges (yellow bars), and the third one with only >100% data points (red bars). The animation helps in easily discerning the story that is being tried to convey.

To make the visualizations more comprehensible, I added a few elements like the Title, Subtitle, a description paragraph, labeled the axes, and data source to the footer.

Abhigyan (2020, June 7). Different Data Visualization Techniques. Analytics Vidhya on Medium.

bottom of page