Similar Data, Similar Audiences, Different Pathways. How did we help two different organizations build innovative, interactive data visualizations to make impact in the public health sector?

Presenters: kvoelker

Increasingly in the digital age, government and community change-makers depend on reliable and digestible big data, disseminated across digital platforms. Two different products, the City Health Dashboard (, and County Health Rankings and Roadmaps (, are leading the charge to impact the public health sector through thoughtful data visualization. Although they use similar data intended to reach similar audiences, the two websites rely on two different digital solutions to answer the same question: How do we set up public health change-makers to leverage national data and inspire action to lead to better health outcomes for the nation?  

In this session, we will present a comparative case study of the two sites. We’ll walk you through a demonstration of the public data visualizations on both sites, and discuss what it took behind-the-scenes to build them. We’ll provide insight on the choices we made around UX and design and then look at how those choices resulted in differences in the narrative approach to discussing the data. We’ll also share the challenges we faced using different technologies, including headless Drupal and progressive decoupling, and our lessons learned from these two different approaches.

You will walk away with knowledge of:

  • Common UX and design challenges related to big data visualization in order to meet organizational goals.
  • How these UX solutions influence technology choices.
  • The strengths and weaknesses behind two different technical approaches: headless Drupal, and progressive decoupling.
Experience Level
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Conference Year
Date / Time
Balcony B
Session Track
Design, UX, and Accessibility