What do the colours on the dashboard mean?

The colours on the dashboard give you a quick and easy representation of which of your areas have the highest / lowest values compared to your other custom areas that you have created. Sometimes the colours are the opposite of what you would expect – do not assume that green (small) is good and brown (large) is bad!

How is the colour scale calculated?

It is important to note there are two differences between how the colour scale is calculated on the dashboard compared with how the colour scale is calculated on the maps.

  1. The areas being compared

Firstly, the colour scale on the dashboard compares the custom areas that you have created, whereas the colour scale on the maps compares all areas across the whole country.

Therefore if an area was shaded brown for ‘population aged 0-4’ on the dashboard, this means that there is a high percentage of children under 4 in this custom area compared to your other custom areas. But this area could actually have a relatively low percentage of children under 4 compared with the rest of Australia. So if you view this area on the map, you may find that the colour scale is different.

  1. The methodology for the colour groupings

The second difference between the colour scale on the map and on the dashboard is the methodology behind the colour groupings.

On the map: The 5 colour types represent 5 equal sized groups. The colours on the map are based on grouping all areas across England into five 20% bands. So the top 20% of areas on an indicator are shaded dark red, the next 20% shaded light red, and so on.

On the dashboard: The 5 colour types are generated using equal interval classification, defined by the outer range of your areas’ data for that indicator. This value- driven method means that we take the highest and lowest value across your custom areas for the indicator in question and then create 5 equal value bands and distribute the areas across these value bands. For example, if you had 5 custom areas on the dashboard and the percentage of unemployment in those areas was; 0.1%, 0.1%, 0.2%,0.2% and 1.6%. Then the colour bands would be split into 5 equal groupings based on the values. The five equal groupings would be:

  • 0.1 – 0.4
  • 0.4 – 0.7
  • 0.7 – 1.0
  • 1.0 – 1.3
  • 1.3 – 1.6

Therefore, in relation to those 5 custom areas mentioned previously, the first 4 with the percentages of 0.1% to 0.2% would be in the lowest colour band and the custom area with the percentage of 1.6% would be in the highest colour band,

This value-driven method on the dashboard was designed to be used to quickly compare your areas, allowing you to visually determine the spread of data and relative values.

Key things to remember 

  • The ranking on the dashboard is based on your custom areas only rather than comparing across Australia as a whole
  • The five colour groups are based on a 5 way equal grouping of the values for the indicators and not like the maps where it is the areas which are grouped in 5 equal groups.