By Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics
The new UIS website, launched today, offers compelling, innovative ways to find – and use – the best available information on what is happening in education, science, culture and communication worldwide. The new site represents a radical shift in the way we present our data. Rather than sending our visitors to complex databases, the new site zeroes in on the kind of information that people want in the era of the Sustainable Development Goals, packaged in the way that is most useful for them.
The biggest innovation has been to ‘unpack’ the UIS database, breaking down the once separate siloes of hard data, analysis (reports) and the story-telling provided by data visualisations and other tools. Now our web users can see the data in their full context.
The new site offers three different ways to dig into and use UIS data:
Our readers used to land in a giant database with sophisticated but hard-to-use tools, where metadata provided the only explanatory information. Technical audiences and expert researchers can still access our database, which will remain intact (data.uis.unesco.org) but there are some changes. The new site features ‘indicator pages’, where people can gather all the materials they need for a multitude of uses. These pages let readers play with and explore a whole range of topics. For example, the reader can ‘slice’ data on the rates of children out of school by gender or level of education. They can then create a visual version of their results by building charts or tables that can be stored (with a new ‘pinboard’ option) and shared easily and quickly.
The indicator pages also present key reports and news articles, as well as related indicators that would be worth exploring. And with each chart updated automatically, readers can be confident that they have the latest available information. The indicator pages are presented in English and Spanish (French is forthcoming).
For more general audiences, we now have a series of topic pages. These pages span from SDG 4 and learning outcomes to women in science and cultural employment. They provide background as well as related indicators and products, such as reports and fact sheets.
Data by country
Lastly, the new site features country profiles of our key data broken down by region and income level – recognising that general audiences are often searching for national facts and figures.
Our old site will still be available until March 2017, and the French version of our new website will go live in the same month. We believe that our new website will shorten the journey from information to understanding, and we hope that you agree. We would love your feedback and any suggestions to help us improve this new resource, which reflects our commitment to meet the evolving needs of the people using our data – from policymakers to engaged citizens.