Using the Representation Dashboard

How to compare your community’s demographic data with platform data

Stijn Zwarts avatar
Written by Stijn Zwarts
Updated over a week ago

The representation dashboard will allow you to compare your community’s demographic data with platform data to determine at a glance how representative your online inputs are at a platform or project level.

Using the representation dashboard

Finding the new dashboard

You will be able to find the representation dashboard as a new tab in the dashboards section.

From here you will be able to submit your census data by clicking on the "Submit base data" button or on the edit base data once you have already added some initial information.

Note: You won’t be able to see your platform data until you upload your census information.

Adding your census data

You can select the questions that you want to compare data and input your own census information. Once you’ve added the information click save and return to the dashboard. Your data will now be displayed together with the platform information.

By default, all enabled registration questions can be used to compare data:

  • Gender

  • Age

  • Education

  • Place of residence

In addition, any Multiple choice question (select one) will show in this dashboard as well.

Note: With the multiple choice question, you will be able to add your own custom questions in order to compare them with your census data. You can do that by going to your Registration section in Settings and adding a new registration field.

Updating your census data

You can update your census data at any time by simply clicking on edit base data, inputting and saving the new information.

Removing a question from the dashboard

To remove a question from the dashboard just toggle all the fields off.

Adding percentages as base number

You could just add the percentages if you needed to. However, if you have decimals just add the numbers without any decimals and it will display them correctly. You will need to be careful not to forget that the numbers displayed on the graph for the reference data are percentages and not the actual numbers.

Representation score

The purpose of the representativeness score is to give you a quick overview of how representative your platform participants are of your target population (for a given demographic characteristic, such as gender, age or ethnicity). It is calculated in two steps:

  • The first step consists in calculating the participation rate of each group in the demographic characteristic. The participation rate is the proportion of people in the group (in the target population) who participated.

  • The second (and final) step is quite simple. The score is calculated by dividing the lowest rate by the highest rate.

Let’s go through an example with education demographics to make things a little more concrete. Suppose there are three levels of education A, B, and C (and thus three groups). The first step is to calculate the participation rate for each education level. The census data indicate that there are 1000 (people with an education level) A, 2000 B, and 2500 C in the target population.

On the platform, we observe that 100 A, 150 B, and 200 C participated. The participation rates are therefore 0.1 (=100/1000) for A, 0.075 (=150/2000) for B, and 0.08 (=200/2500) for C, and the representativeness score is 0.075 / 0.1 = 0.75. When expressed as a percentage, the score is 75 (%).

Notes about the score

Because of this method, the score will be strongly affected by the option with the lowest participation ratio. For example if for one of the options the ratio will be 0 then the score will also be 0.

The score won’t be representative when the sample size is small (number of people that have answered the platform registration questions) or if a question has many options it is more likely that at least one option will have a lower ratio, leading to an overall lower score.

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