Visualising Scotland at a turning point

Impartial information and analysis on public attitudes relating to the referendum

The Challenge

The referendum brought with it a flood of opinion polls. 

Understanding what they meant, even for journalists and academics, was near impossible.

Independent social researcher ScotCen wanted to bring all that data to one place - and make it accessible to everyone.

The Objectives

  • Bring public opinion data to one place

    Users needed a clear, single view of what Scotland was thinking. 
  • Make that data understandable

    Data collected had to be easy to understand for everyone. 
  • Strip out the bias

    Provide as unbiased a view as possible into data that was often sponsored by one side or the other.

The Insight

To be unbiased, the site had to be driven by data. 

A wide range of users had to access that data at whatever level suited them.

Blog commentary would complement the data, providing written context and analysis to those that needed the background.

The Process

Understand the User

Storm ID and ScotCen recruited an array of individuals who represented the target audience. Journalists, educators, bar managers, you name it! A large workshop was then held to extract information from them; would they use a data-driven site like this? When would they use it? What would they use it for? 

This mix of client and end-user liaison at the start of any project can give you the confidence to make the right decisions and, ultimately, deliver a product that exceeds the clients expectations and meets the needs of users.

Understand the Data

Poll Data

Hundreds of organisations and media outlets ran polls running up to the Scottish Referendum.

Scottish Social Attitudes (SSA)

A long running data-set that touched on political opinion.

Make History

The Scottish Referendum was a historical moment and one that grabbed the attention of the whole nation. The What Scotland Thinks website played it's part by placing itself at the heart of the debate and being the go-to place for impartial data and analysis.

It now not only looks at how Scotland thinks it should be run but also at how England and Wales reckon they should now be governed.

Key Features

Poll Builder

An intuitive, bespoke Admin interface to allow ScotCen to update and build-up the poll data across common questions.

Bespoke Data Explorer Tool

A tool to give users the ability to cross-reference and query the Scottish Social Attitudes (SSA) dataset.

Integration with High Charts

How did we render the data on the front-end? By integrating with an interactive, responsive chart tool called HighCharts.

WordPress Blog

A crafted blog for comment and conjecture, built in WordPress to take advantage of the functionality on offer.

Throughout the site we integrated with Disqus to allow users to comment and discuss the data and blog posts.

What Scotland Thinks

If data visualisation is what you're looking for, get in touch and we can discuss your requirements.