Revamping Pew’s Fiscal 50 with Dynamic Visualizations

Pew Charitable Trust / 2024 / Economics, Politics & Government


When their respected Fiscal 50 website needed refreshing, The Pew Charitable Trusts connected with Graphicacy to make it mobile-friendly and modern, complete with new state-specific pages.

Background and Challenge:

The Pew Charitable Trusts launched the Fiscal 50, which aimed to help policymakers at the state and national levels, the media, and the public understand what drove long-term budgetary trends, in 2013. The innovative site featured interactive graphics for fiscal and economic indicators that measure states’ long-term financial health, and 50 soon became a respected resource. But, as it celebrated its 10th birthday, the site was starting to show its age.  

It was time for Pew to reimagine things, to continue to meet users’ needs and expectations while shaking things up and experimenting with new approaches. 

Pew turned to Graphicacy to rebuild the Fiscal 50 site from top to bottom and to produce a platform that Pew could expand upon by adding more chart views over time and easily updating the data on their own. 

Opportunity and Solution:

Graphicacy welcomed the challenge to redesign and develop a responsive suite of charts with an enhanced state-level focus, bringing the Fiscal 50 into the modern era. Graphicacy also created an inventive process for Pew to update text and figures on their own as new data rolled in.

Graphicacy built dynamic state-specific profile pages that combine data and research insights from Pew’s fiscal teams. The pages display the performance of eight key indicators for each state, and every indicator has an interactive plot dot, which can be expanded to show more detailed information.

Another key feature Graphicacy created is data-driven text, which allows Pew to write narrative text with tokens that can be replaced by data values. These are updated on the fly to show the current data displayed in the charts.  

Ultimately, the data-driven, dynamic captions will lighten the load on Pew’s team while retaining the in-depth analysis the organization is known for.  

To allow for frequent site changes, Graphicacy produced a toolkit for the Fiscal 50 team. Ongoing collaboration with Graphicacy will allow Pew to leverage the toolkit and achieve maximum benefit from it. 

“The partnership between Graphicacy and Pew has leveraged everyone’s strengths. We felt heard by Graphicacy throughout and were impressed with their willingness to learn our language and embrace the secret sauce that has made Fiscal 50 work so well over time, all while pushing us to do more than we’d hoped.”

Melissa Maynard, Project Director of State Fiscal Health at The Pew Charitable Trusts

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