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The OECD Better Life Index [oecdbetterlifeindex.org] by Moritz Stefaner and Raureif visualizes some of the key factors that contribute to the notion of well-being in OECD countries. The accompanying interactive visualizations reveal how countries perform according to one of the available 11 topics that contribute for a better life, such as education, housing, the environment, and many more.

Each country is represented by a flower, of which each petal corresponds to a unique topic. The length of a petal represents a country's score for that topic, while its width stands for the importance that you, the user, can assign to that topic. The Index view provides a detailed overview of all flowers, and thus summarizes the performance of all countries. In the Topic view (e.g. Life Satisfaction, Work-Life Balance), each individual topic can be compared between countries through investigating the length of their respective flowers. Lastly, the Country view (e.g. Belgium, Germany) provides all the information for each of the 11 topics for a given country, together with some handy bar graphs that put the country's performance in comparison to others.

Interestingly, the Country view even provides some detailed background information and explanations to the according statistics, a feature that is often missing in the public distribution and visualization of socially relevant data. This way, one should for instance be able to find the actual reasons behind the amazing fact that Australia performs so badly in Work-Life Balance (though makes up for it in Life Satisfaction).

As demonstrated in the accompanying teaser movie and an image of some wall paper decoration, as shown below, the idea of using flowers as a way to represent the performance of each country fits within a recent holistic brand marketing approach of the OECD.

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5 COMMENTS

Nice idea, but can't help feeling that it's missing out on the majority of the world. I'm sure to some people work-life balance is important, but to most of the world there are more important things, like food, education, personal security and employment to worry about. Wish as much time and effort was spent in analysing that data, as was put in to this.

Wed 25 May 2011 at 5:44 AM
spotfire

@spotfire: of course it's missing out on the majority of the world. It is, by definition, an OECD project *about OECD member countries*. Of course the concerns of the world's non-wealthy nations are important, but they're not the focus of the OECD. The UN, ok, the IMF, alright, but not the OECD. You can hardly blame a cat for being a cat, now, can you?

Wed 25 May 2011 at 8:01 AM
Kristen

Hi spotfire and Kristen, I was involved in the design of the tool. to make a long story short, the reason why there are only 34 countries was not by design (we planned to have more, and also more data by country) but because we couldn't get reliable data for the other countries. we hope we'll be able to expand the scope as we go

Wed 25 May 2011 at 8:40 AM

Dunno, doesn’t do much for me, comparison and contrast is difficult. Seems a little busy for the limited data it’s showing. Form of factor IMO

Wed 25 May 2011 at 11:03 AM
Jeff

With a nod to Rebecca Xiong and Judith Donath's People Garden.
http://www.infovis.net/printMag.php?num=46&lang=2

Wed 25 May 2011 at 3:19 PM
andrea
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