In the article “Looking for a World in Balance: The “Inclusivity Index”, the Magical Square of the Great Transformation or How to Build a Social Strategy for the Global Civil Society”, Dr Ulrich Hemel, Director of the Institute for Global Ethics in Tübingen, proposed a method for modeling social strategies based on the “Inclusivity Index”. This Index allows for analyzing four dimensions: ethical, economic, environmental and social. Because of its resemblance to a geometric figure, “Inclusivity Index” has been called the “Magical Square of the Great Transformation”. The development of the concept of the inclusivity index is linked to the application of business intelligence (BI) tools. The presented case discusses using Looker Studio to visualize the inclusivity index.

1.The Inclusivity Index and Visual Possibilities

The “Inclusivity Index” was proposed by Ulrich Hemel as a contribution to an analytical toolkit for the development of social strategies. He noted that

“a formal criterion for decision-making is to give priority to those human, social and political actions that seek a better balance in all relevant dimensions of civil society, with a special focus on social, economic, ecological and ethical realities” (Hemel, 2023).

The balance between four parameters (ethical, economic, environmental and social) can influence the development of civil society strategies; on the contrary, an imbalance leads to stunted development and societal dysfunction. Inclusion strives for equity and balance. The “Inclusivity Index” contains quantitative data on the state of the economy, environment, social development and ethics. External data providers are international development institutions (UN, IMF, World Bank, etc.), civil society organizations and business associations.

This fact, together with “the combination of transparent methodology and open discussion of future courses of action, will help to make the inclusivity index convincing, which could also be seen as a path to the Great Transformation” (Hemel 2023).

The goal of the Great Transformation is the peaceful coexistence of peoples and cultures in a global world. The “Inclusivity index” and the search for a balance in social development are at the heart of the Magical Square of the Great Transformation.

The method used to present the index visually is a “traffic light system” and the General Country Profile. Each section of the “traffic light indicator” shows the color value of a quantitative data (e.g. GDP per capita) and three ranges (green – maximum, yellow – average, red – critical). Because of this combination of multiple data, the index can be called a meta-index. The multi-dimensional character of “Inclusivity Index” raises problems of data import and visualization possibilities. In the case study, we focus on reduced programming and data handling skills requirements and observe the following constraints – the proposed tool for working with data models should be accessible, support cloud services and allow for a fast training of users to work with it.  The cloud-based solution, Looker (formerly Google Data Studio) will improve the robustness and efficiency of the inclusivity index through its visualization. Working with data models, Looker Studio supports more than 800 sources. Our solutions can be used without the need for IT professionals, making it ideal for small research groups.

2. Inclusivity Index Visualisation Tool

Our Visualization Tool was created to help solve the problem of visualizing the Index and divided into 5 columns. Four columns are the social dimensions of the “Magical Square of the Great Transformation” and one column is a quick analysis using the “traffic light system”. Each of the four dimensions contains an external data source recommended by the authors [Hemel 2023]. The dashboard uses the Looker table connector. A link between the dashboard and the tables (heat map, gauge) has been established by means of data import. For quick analysis, the indicators of the index values are duplicated on the “traffic light” panel. This logic makes it possible to provide a quick analytical summary for a specific country (quick analysis) and to study additional external indices presented in each of the four parameters – economic, social, environmental and ethical (extended analysis). The Inclusivity Index visualization tool allows you to apply a data filter to focus on a specific country.

3. Regional focus – Central Asia

For the dashboard, data was imported into tables and then connected via a Google Sheets connector. Eight countries were selected – Central Asia is represented by Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan. EU candidate countries (Georgia and Moldova) are also included in the list of countries. In the compilation of the list of data sources, a problem of data availability has been identified – either the external index has not been calculated for a long time or the authorities do not provide data to international institutions.  The sample covers 2021-2022.

4. Visualization Scenarios

4.1 Quick Analysis. The dashboard can be used as a tool for quick visual analysis according to four main indices. The traffic light block shows their values – economy (GDP per capita), society (Human Development Index (HDI), ethics (Civil Society Participation Index (CSP) and ecology (Environmental Performance Index (EPI). The data model allows an individual country to be compared with other states in the focus region. A quick analysis of Uzbekistan in 2022 shows that the ethical and environmental aspects are in the yellow zone, the economic aspects are in the red zone and the social aspects are in the green zone. The visual traffic light thus provides a one-click view of the state of balance. In the example above, ethics and ecology are balanced in relation to the rest of the countries in the region. However, there is an imbalance in the economic and social parameters (Fig. 1).

Figure 1. Quick analysis Mobile Panel

4.2 Advanced Analysis. Dashboard can perform advanced analysis using eight indexes (four main and four supplementary). Let us return to the Uzbekistan example. The Quick Analysis showed that there was a lack of balance between the economic and the social parameters. Let us refine this hypothesis with additional indices – for the economy (external debt) and for the social parameter – the Gini index and Fragile State Index. To better present the data, we apply a country filter (Fig.2).

Figure 2. Advanced analysis panel

4.3 Create a General Country Profile. In order to work with the Magical Square of the Great Transformation, General Country Profiles are created for the four key parameters (see the introductory remarks). The Inclusivity Index visualization tool reduces the time spent searching for values by providing access to eight indicators within seconds.

5. Mobile devices adaptation

A problem of adaptation to mobile devices (mobile-first indexing) was discovered during the development of the dashboard. According to statistics, the number of unique mobile internet users will have reached 5 billion persons by 2022. This means that more than 60% of the world’s internet-using population will access the web via mobile devices. The upward trend in mobile internet usage is particularly noticeable in emerging digital markets, where mobile networks are the primary means of accessing the internet. For this reason, a version of the Inclusivity Index Visualisation Tool Mobile has been created and adapted for use on mobile phones. It removes the disadvantage of the original design and the poor compatibility of Looker with mobile devices. The parallel version follows the ‘mobile-first indexing’ practices proposed by Google developers. The popular mobile screen size of 380 x 844 pixels was used. We dropped advanced analysis and retained the use of the “traffic lights system” in the mobile version. This has allowed us to take full advantage of the navigation features. The version for mobile devices combines the compatibility with mobile phones with the possibilities of quick analysis.

Summary

The use of Looker allows you to visualise the “Inclusivity Index” and redefine the role of the Magical Square of the Great Transformation. By reducing the time it takes to access and imagine information, research for strategic planning can be carried out more efficiently. The tasks of data import, update and visualization can be solved with the dashboards of the tool. Increasing the number of indices to be analyzed and the number of countries and focus regions will be part of the further development of this project.

Inclusivity Index Visualization Tool

Literature

Data Sources

Posted by Valeriy Goncharov

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