Rough experiments in visualising the 2015 New Zealand Budget

Yesterday New Zealand’s Minister of Finance tabled the 2015 Budget. The Budget lays out how the Government will spend $NZ88 billion dollars over the coming year.

Harkanwal Singh prepared an informative interactive visualisation in the New Zealand Herald, Keith Ng produced a treemap breakdown for the NBR and I expect there are more that I have missed. I enjoyed exploring the data through Harkanwal and Keith’s visualisations, but I wanted to see it from a slightly different perspective. After a restless night, I had some 4am inspiration and hacked together a D3 sketch.

Everything matters to someone. I wanted to understand the scale of spending across different areas of concern and government departments in a single glance. Accordingly, I allocated each spending area the same amount of space and then sprinkled dots across them to represent how much money they receive. I find it amazing to look at these figures and realise that each dot represents one million dollars.

There is a lot of work left to do on these, particularly in relation to label legibility and showing finer-grained data. However, given the timeliness of the budget I thought it worth sharing in this early state.

New Zealand 2016 Estimated Budget Spend by Functional Classification

One dot = $1 Million.

Budget spend by vote

New Zealand 2016 Estimated Budget Spend by Department

One dot = $1 Million.

Spend by department

One Response to “Rough experiments in visualising the 2015 New Zealand Budget”

  1. Tikitu says:

    Nice work! (And indeed, the scale is rather mind-boggling.) If you take it further, how about choosing a sort order that puts closely-allied functions and departments (e.g. Conservation / DoC) in similar positions? I guess simply sorting by spending would come close, although it will also decrease the visual contrasts you get with the current ordering.

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