Best Political Dashboard of 2008

Political Dashboard Update: Latest Election Results Dashboard:

This is a “Pop-Up Dashboard” from the New York Times site:


Here’s a screen capture of the NY Times Election Dashboard from after the election:

NY Times Election dashboard

And this is a google “live map” of the election results.

Now back to the original post on the “Best Political Dashboard of 2008”:

An unofficial poll by The Dashboard Spy of this election’s crop of political dashboards shows that Yahoo’s entry, Election 08 Political Dashboard, is the run-away winner. Based on a flash interface, the UI uses typically slick effects such as mouseovers. A nice design incorporating tabs, panes and popups makes this dashboard intuitive to use. The real buzz for us dashboard implementation types, however, lies in the data collection that powers this business intelligence dashboard. An interesting choice of measurements is what really powers this effective reporting dashboard.

In addition to showing the winners and losers in the 08 race by the usual metrics (pledged delegate votes being the most closely watched at the time of this writing), there is the use of some non-traditional data sources. This political dashboard provides related trends and analyses by collecting polling data, campaign fundraising dollars, “buzz” metrics and political prediction gaming data. Statistics come from four sources:

  1. Poll Data from Real Clear Politics
  2. Campaign Fund-raising Data from Associated Press (also regional demographics and historical voting records from AP)
  3. Yahoo Search Engine Buzz
  4. Intrade (Ireland-based, a prediction market where you can place bets on real-world news)

Update: There was a slight mis-understanding due to a UI-related issue regarding the reordering of columns. Some users thought that the political prediction data sources were dropped by Yahoo. See Yahoo News Ditch the Political Prediction Markets. This is a good eye-opener about the importance of dashboard design and what may happen if you make a change after launch.

The usual demographic breakdowns are available, but also, you may drill down by state.

Here is a screenshot of the dashboard as of Feb 14, 2008:

Yahoo Political Dashboard Screenshot Click to visit the Election Dashboard.

This dashboarding project at Yahoo required the combined skills of several Yahoo units. According to a Dashboard Spy at Yahoo, the News, Flash, Data, Research, UI/Design, Operations, Tech and Quality Assurance teams really pulled together to produce this innovative BI dashboard.

Here is some input from a couple of Yahoo sources, including a computer scientist from Yahoo Research as well as Corporate:

The corporate folks at Yahoo blogged about the intent of the Election 08 Political Dashboard in a post titled Elections Data for Junkies. It’s always good to read about the “why” behind a dashboard project.

The Oddhead Blog is written by a Yahoo scientist interested in prediction markets. In his post, he refers to his lessons learned from this earlier political dashboarding effort from 2006:

2006 Senate Race Prediction Map by Yahoo

Here are some additional screenshots of the Elections Dashboard.

This is how you can drill down on a candidate. I clicked on Obama and a semi-cheesy “flash-bulb” effect brought up this screen:

Obama Political Dashboard

Here is a way you can cut the data by state. If you click on the “States” tab, you get this selector map. Note the existence of a typical design challenge regarding the onstate/offstate status of the tabs. In the below screenshot of the dashboard, which is the onstate tab, “National” or “States”? The answer is States, but that’s not clear because the other tab is the one that “pops” out more.  A typical tab problem.

State-driven data views of election data

All in all, quite a slick dashboard presentation of interesting metrics. Try it and tell me what you think.

Tags: Election Dashboards, Political Dashboard, Flash Dashboards, Business Intelligence Dashboard, Metrics, KPIs, Presidential Campaign Dashboard