A dedicated microsite showcasing findings and data exploration tools for Venture Forward -- a GoDaddy initiative tracking the economic impacts of 20 million ventures and the everyday entrepreneurs behind them.
I was the technical lead on this project, working alongside a team of academics, designers, and content producers to develop and launch the Venture Forward site.
GoDaddy had a dataset of over 20 million ventures, and months of complex analyses and findings. The principle challenge was in how to communicate those findings to viewers (from economists and policy makers down to the lay public). Viewers needed to be able to explore these findings in a way that was compelling, easy to understand, and more importantly, conveyed the potential benefits of encouraging venture growth in their community. This project included a number of data visualization opportunities, including:
• mapping key variables across the US at county, city, and zip code levels, with interactions to watch these variables evolve across time.
• an interactive tool to explain the regression models powering the analyses, allowing users to control inputs and see the predicted effects.
GoDaddy came to us after months of working with data scientists and academic partners to digest and analyze a unique dataset representing tens of millions of ventures (an active web domain with services attached). Combined with demographic and economic data from regions across the US, they were able to model the positive effects ventures brought to communities and local economies. We began working with GoDaddy to better understand the variables and design ways to convey this story that were both compelling and accurate.
The first step was to test if we could expose to viewers some aspects of the underlying statistical models to provide a better intuition of what the results meant. We built a fast prototype based on the multivariate models supplied by the academic team, and attached key variables to interactive sliders.
Next, we designed and built a more polished version of this tool. We included a city ranking tool that allowed viewers to compare and contrast how particular cities ranked against 900+ other cities along key demographic and economic variables from the dataset. An interactive histogram allowed viewers to filter cities by population.
The model exploration tool provided viewers an intuitive grasp of the relationships among variables without requiring deep background in the statistics and methodology generating these results.
Lastly, we included a map that would allow users to explore venture density across the US at the level of counties and cities. Starting with a minimal basemap in Mapbox, we designed a side panel with data controls to allow viewers to manipulate which variables were displayed on the map. To make the experience more specific, we included a tooltip that would display a kernel density estimate showing how the hovered region compared to all other regions on the selected variable.
The Venture Forward project will be updated every fiscal quarter with new data and new analyses. We built the site using a customized CMS to allow GoDaddy to update the data in the future and automatically regenerate each of the key visualizations.