The Australian Financial Review’s Budget Explorer was designed to help make sense of the data deluge that accompanies every federal budget. The interactive features five modules tackling a different major element of the budget. It was produced with the fine data visualisation experts from Small Multiples.
Major Initiatives and Savings
This module allows readers to explore the government’s 2013 budgetary juggling act by comparing major policy initiatives with major spending cuts.
Revenue and Expenditure
This interactive graphic allows readers to drill down into the detail of how the government raises revenue and where this money is spent. It also highlights the significant changes to projected revenue that the government has had to manage while planning policies.
Labor v. Coalition
The Money Men
These two modules take a historic look at the key economic events from the past three decades, including an overview of each budget outcome. Much of the historical material and the analysis for each treasurer were written by Earl, who has a seemingly inexhaustive memory of Australia’s economic and political history. The raw data was supplemented with photos from the Financial Review archive and archive front pages of the paper, edited by one of our graphic artist, Les Hewitt. He also designed the buttons and pointers for the Budget Explorer.
Policy v. Luck
This interactive graphic looks at a relatively technical aspect of the budget. Each budget Treasury estimates the impact of the budget on government policy decisions and on the broader economic environment. This module allows readers to see what would have happened if the government didn’t make any policy changes or if the economy developed as Treasury had forecast.
The interactive also features all the raw data used to create the section.
Feedback: An interview I did with ABC’s Media Report on Radio National about the AFR’s budget interactive. The Global Editors Network also featured the interactive as an example of global innovation in its weekly newsletter.
Background: I go through how we created the Budget Explorer for the data driven journalism initiative website.