Research Data Visualisation

The Economist Intelligence Unit

Meet the client.

Economist Impact (formerly the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)) is the division of The Economist Group that provides data, research and analysis on a range of industries and topics of global significance. RBC Wealth Management offers advice and wealth management services to individuals, families and institutions and has offices in the UK, North America, the Caribbean and Asia.

Our challenge.

Taking as its starting point the rising economic power of women, the EIU surveyed over a thousand people with “US$1 million or more in investable assets” about their attitudes to wealth and wealth management. The conclusions were that women not only owned and controlled greater wealth than ever before, they were also changing the direction of wealth management and the aims of wealth creation. And the younger they were, the less the “familiar gender constraints” applied.

The outcome of the project was a large amount of data which we had to turn into research data visualisations that communicated the complexity of the results in a clear and engaging way. We were asked to supply four regional articles, four infographics, two topical articles, an executive summary and a research report. Coupled with this, both clients had extensive brand guidelines. Did we say this was a big project?

Our approach.

A client’s prescriptive branding is not always the straitjacket you might imagine. We used bar charts for the reports and articles and by applying ‘best practice’ data visualisation design rules, we ensured they were accurate, clear and professional.

The opportunity was seized to be a bit more creative when it came to the four infographics. A mix of pie charts, bar charts and size comparisons showcased how we could adopt a range of alternatives to present the research data.

We used pie charts when comparing two or three data points within the infographics, bar charts for comparing data across categories as it’s easier to see the differences in bar lengths, size comparisons for comparing two or three data points with large differences and icons and illustrations to show concepts or hierarchies of responses. And finally colour provided a consistent way of distinguishing gender and generations. Phew!

Our work.

In one of our biggest projects, we were asked to produce:

  • A research report
  • An executive summary
  • 4 regional articles
  • 4 long-form infographics
  • 2 topical articles

The impact.

At NWC Design, we were delighted with the results and our exacting clients were too. We were careful to consider how the data visualisation showed the numbers accurately and pointed readers to the key findings while not distorting the facts or confusing the reader. We had produced a massive 44 individual data visualisations, all within the client rules and all engaging and accurate and that took a long time but the final designs were very well received.

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