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NORC’s data visualization skills and tools help clients tell compelling data stories

NORC at the University of Chicago has experts in data science, research methods, and statistics to help researchers effectively present data in a graphical or pictorial format. This ranges from producing complex interactive visualizations to simple charts and graphs. Our work has won awards from the Association of Public Data Users, the American Statistical Association, and the HOW International Design Awards.  

There are many types of data users. Some want only to find a number or data point, while others want to access all the data and do their own analysis. We consider all audience types and craft presentations for their specific needs. However data are shown, they should be presented fully and without bias. For example, our MCBS COVID-19 data tool employs hover-over sentences that include the question text, estimates, and standard errors to guide correct interpretation. We collaborate. We work with our communications team to ensure that the language in our presentations is understandable and turn to skilled designers to help create visually appealing tools that are still accessible to the visually impaired and branded for client recognition.  

We have experience working with multiple visualization and programming tools for static and interactive data presentations, including Tableau, R and R Shiny, D3 (JavaScript), HTML/Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), PowerBI, and Adobe (InDesign and Illustrator).

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Get to Know Our Experts

Explore the community of NORC staff working in data visualization and information design.  

Our Areas of Expertise

Interactive Graphics

To make the wealth of information collected by our Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey easier to access, we designed and built an annually updated interactive dashboard to display highlighted data. By clicking on "insurance," for example, users can quickly see demographic information on who is receiving health insurance from Medicare.

Exploratory Charts 

We turned findings from an AmeriSpeak® survey of 1,140 adults on their use of social media into an exploratory chart that tells people their social media age. After moving a slider to enter their own usage levels, they can move to another slider to see the typical social media habits of other adults by their age.


The Appalachian Opioid Misuse Community Assessment Tool, launched in 2018, was the first-ever interactive data visualization of county-level drug overdose mortality rates. The tool, which we expanded to cover the entire nation in 2020, displays county-level data for such social determinants of health as unemployment and poverty rates and enables users to compare a county to the rest of a state or the nation.


To tell how COVID-19 impacted older Americans, we produced a data snapshot that presents findings from our Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey in a series of easy-to-read charts and graphs. By scrolling through the five-page document, readers receive data on nine topic areas, including beneficiaries' perception of COVID-19 severity, their preventative health behaviors, the availability of telemedicine, and their health care needs, including checkups they may have skipped because of the pandemic.


In partnership with the Better Medicare Alliance, we teamed up with a web developer to produce a feature story that unfolds as you scroll through it. Content in the digital document, "12 Organizations Inspiring Health Care with a Focus on Social Determinants of Health", slides in or pops up as you move from the inspirational success story of one organization to the next.


As part of a larger project we're doing for the Office of Head Start, "Understanding Children's Transitions from Head Start to Kindergarten," or HS2K, we produced and posted a six-minute video on YouTube. Based on findings from our research, the narrated video addresses school administrators. It guides them on how to help preschoolers transition to kindergarten, a crucial shift that could affect them in elementary school and beyond.