Indicators for an Inclusive Regional Economy

Center for Economic Inclusion / 2022 / Economics, Racial Equity

The main view for the Indicators for an Inclusive Regional Economy website, showing a bar chart for employment rates, disaggregated by race and ethnicity, for the Minneapolis/Twin cities area.


Graphicacy helped transform the Center’s economic indicators tool into an inspiring, interactive case for action.

Background and Challenge

Across Minnesota’s Twin Cities’ region, exclusionary policies have historically limited economic opportunities for Black, Indigenous, Asian, and Hispanic residents. Tawanna Black founded the nonprofit Center for Economic Inclusion (the Center) to right this injustice.

In 2022, she and her team enlisted Graphicacy to transform their website’s Indicators for an Inclusive Regional Economy into a more dynamic catalyst for reform — one that inspires action among employers, policymakers, and others capable of moving the needle for greater inclusivity.

Opportunity and Solution

The new Indicator’s website needed to be more usable and more useful. That meant a better interactive design, more data, and an updated system of aggregation to provide actionable insights at a community level.

Working with the Center’s team, Graphicacy enhanced the existing data through national and regional sources, and expanded the Indicators website into an interactive microsite. Additions included:

  • Data disaggregated from broader race and ethnicity categories to include 10 cultural communities (such as Hmong, Mexican, and Somali residents)
  • Indicators with unique insights around earning a living wage, mortgage discrimination, and access to public transit
    A fifth Indicator Pillar labeled Sense of Belonging to gauge how welcome residents feel in the region
  • Narrative context explaining what the data for each Indicator means, why it matters, and what actions users can take
  • An executive summary showing major highlights from all Pillars in one place
  • An interactive Indicator Visualization on the landing page showing which Indicators are available for which communities (and where gaps still exist)

“This new platform is like our previous economic Indicators on steroids, times one thousand,” said Tawanna. “It does my heart good to see how Graphicacy brought our rich collection of data to life. We needed to show more of our region’s diversity with disaggregated data so that we were telling everyone’s story. That’s what promoting inclusion is about.”

Graphicacy designed the site so users could explore multiple layers depending on how deeply they want to dive in. Custom insights are generated on the fly for users: by hovering over any bar, a small popup appears with a sentence description of the data being shown, along with any relevant comparisons.

A collection of images from the Indicators for an Inclusive Regional Economy website

“The new Indicators site provides incredible opportunities for exploration, comparison, and contextualization. Graphicacy came up with designs that blew us away. They were so adept at finding ways to make information concise and accessible, allowing us to supplement our quantitative data with qualitative storytelling to present a nuanced view of economic inclusion in our region.”

Nathan Arnosti, the Center for Economic Inclusion Director of Analytics

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