The KIDS COUNT Infographic Challenge Editor's Choice: Amanda Rohrer

January 14, 2013

When the Annie E. Casey Foundation partnered with SparkAction to launch the KIDS COUNT Infographic Challenge the goal was simple: bring together designers, advocates, and data analysts to use the KIDS COUNT Data Center to tell the stories of America's children.

Thousands of votes were cast to select two winners, while the Annie E. Casey Foundation chose the Editor's Choice winner, Amanda Rohrer. Learn more about Amanda and her design below.

AMANDA ROHRER - SAINT PAUL, MINNESOTA
KIDS COUNT Infographic Challenge Info Champ

As an analyst, Amanda told us that she often finds herself explaining data to the public.  Amanda told us why she chose to tell the story of children in America's immigrant families.

What about this data captured your imagination?

There is a wealth of information available for decision-making, but it can be intimidating. Infographics are an amazing tool that can make data much more accessible. 

I opted to look at children in immigrant families because these kids get lost in the heated and hostile debates we have about immigration policy. Too often we lose sight of the families and lives that immigrants come to this country to build.

I really feel that the hostile environment this country has created for immigrants (both legal and not) by the tone of the debate will affect their children's participation in and attitude toward policy and government long into the future, and that won't serve the country at large.  See Amanda's entry >>

What was the most challenging part of creating an infographic?

DISENFRANCHISEDFinding the story in the data was really interesting. In this case, there was a variety of information available, and choosing how to narrow it down while still keeping it relevant and informative was particularly challenging.

Did the challenge change the way you understand and use infographics?

I'm new enough to infographics that I'm not too rigid about what I expect them to be, but usually I favor charts and graphs that are more data-focused. Like an article, I see an infographic's purpose to be a means of showing others what facts you learned in your research and explaining the conclusions you draw from them.

For this project, I thought the conclusions were more important than the specific evidence, so I made it more graphic-heavy and less focused on numbers. You need both data and numbers, of course, but an infographic can inspire people to read more about the data article - it doesn't have to be a complete analytic piece in itself.

What was the most interesting or useful part of the KIDS COUNT Data Center?

The tables and interactive graphics were very functional and well-designed. It was easy to know what was available and find it once you decided what you needed. There are a lot of bad data interfaces out there, so I was glad to find one that really works.

How do you plan to use your prize - a new laptop equipped with Adobe graphic suite software?

I'd like to delve a little deeper into the graphic side of infographics. Making these things with Word and Excel is really limiting.