Brazilian Think Tank Uses Infogram to Shed Light on Dengue Fever

16.03.2016 by Marisa Krystian

Dengue fever is a painful, debilitating mosquito-borne disease caused by any one of four closely related dengue viruses. An estimated 390 million dengue infections occur worldwide each year, with about 96 million resulting in illness. There were 1,649,008 reported cases of dengue fever in Brazil last year, and the city of Rio de Janeiro reported an increase of cases in the first few weeks of 2016.

A research team from Brazilian think tank FGV’s Department of Public Policy Analysis (FGV/DAPP), guided by Mr. Marco Ruediger, wanted to bring awareness to the epidemic. Their goal was to create a dengue panorama of Brazil, but they encountered a few roadblocks. This is their story.


Problem

Infogram customer FGV/DAPP soon realized that the dengue fever data for the region, provided by the Ministry of Health (Federal Government), the State Department of Health, and the Municipal Department of Health for São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro didn’t match up. There were major differences in the form and methodology used to count cases.

All of this data is technically available to the public, but citizens have to take the initiative to visit the various websites and collect the information themselves. Once they find the data, it is usually in PDF or other formats that aren’t ready-to-use or easy to understand. Spreadsheets of large datasets are almost impossible to decipher on their own.

Another problem was that FGV/DAPP needed to work quickly because they aren’t your typical research institution. While they still take part in traditional academic research, that usually results in printed reports, they also have a fast-track focus that is eager to provide information to officials, co-workers, and the public much faster. This is where Infogram and data visualizations came into play.

“We wanted to create good content in a nice visual way, with a lot of design – but fast! We started using Infogram because of that.” – Wagner Faria de Oliveira, Researcher

Infogram customer


Solution

FGV/DAPP needed to consolidate the different data sources in one place in order to provide qualified information for swift decision making. Their initiative opened a new line of applied research called  “Health in Numbers”, which aimed to promote transparency and qualify the debate on health policies in Brazil.

Infogram customer

FGV/DAPP team in front of FGV headquarters in Brazil

Once the data was consolidated and actionable, the team created data visualizations using Infogram to show people the true impact of the numbers in an engaging and impactful way. Using their Enterprise account they were able to use custom branded templates to display the data while still keeping the company’s logo and visual identity. We also created special maps of Brazilian cities for them to better tell their story.

“We wanted to keep our visual identity in the embedded charts on our website. Now that we have a customized template, we can easily achieve that. The charts look beautiful and they really speak to our visual identity.”  – Wagner Faria de Oliveira, Researcher

FGV/DAPP was able to create interactive charts and infographics to accompany their more detailed research reports, along with separate charts to share with the public and the media, who definitely began to take notice.


Results

The dengue fever Infogram charts grabbed the attention of local and global media. The research team conducted multiple television and newspaper interviews, helping to shed light on the situation in Brazil, and ultimately the world. Their attempt to raise awareness was a huge success. 

Infogram customer

” Without Infogram, people would not be able to understand the available data. They would have to take the initiative to visit the Health Ministry and download the spreadsheets, which are difficult to read and manipulate. Infogram has really made a difference.” – Janaina de Mendonça Fernandes, Researcher

FGV/DAPP’s city maps actually shed new light on the area. They spotted a neighborhood with a very high number of cases that was previously overlooked. Once the data was visualized they were able to spot the infected area and send in drones to investigate the mosquito population and incidences of dangerous stagnant water sources. Locals began to respond to the presence of the drones and actually offered their help to find trouble spots in their neighborhood. Click the image below to access the full infographic.

Infogram customer

FGV/DAPP was able to give everyone on their team of 20+ people access to Infogram projects so they could create beautiful charts and infographics quickly, despite their prior data visualization experience. Shared folders helped them organize their work, making it easier for everyone to locate specific projects in seconds.

“All the people here, even those who aren’t familiar with datasets and data visualizations, can create and publish their own graphics. Our number of Infogram users started to grow, and we realized it wasn’t enough – so we upgraded to an Enterprise account. We loaded our own maps, customized our team, and got a customized template. ” –  Wagner Faria de Oliveira, Researcher

With Infogram, FGV/DAPP’s team was able to make branded charts and maps quickly, ready to share internally and externally, with the public, health care officials, and the media. FGV/DAPP said it themselves – Infogram offered fast, high impact data visualizations that helped people better understand the data and offered great results.


FGV/DAPP’s dengue fever initiative is a perfect example of how working together as a team with data visualizations can shed light on a matter of national importance. To learn more about Infogram for Teams and our Enterprise plan, schedule a time to speak with an Infogram expert that works best for you!