Data Visualisation

Why data visualisation?

Data becomes more meaningful when it is graphically represented, and Aether has developed its expertise in data visualisation. Visualisation of large, complex datasets helps decision makers at all levels to make informed, evidence-based decisions. It also makes the data more accessible to a wider range of audiences, increasing engagement from the public and non-technical users. Visualisation can help to identify and communicate key messages, trends and data features as well as providing the user flexibility to explore the data and tailor the outputs to their individual needs. 

Article 12 of the Paris Agreements states “Parties shall cooperate in taking measures, as appropriate, to enhance climate change education, training, public awareness, public participation and public access to information, recognizing the importance of these steps with respect to enhancing actions under this Agreement”, highlighting the importance of transparent data sharing for training, public awareness, and participation. 

Aether's expertise

We have expertise across multiple software options including Tableau, PowerBi and Prezi and we have Tableau certified data visualisation experts in house. We believe that data visualisation can enhance outputs and services that we offer in almost every case. Our experts therefore have experience in the many applications of data visualisation, including producing online, interactive data viewers, static infographics for reports, and dashboards that link to data held in our MRV portals.

Aether’s approach

Our approach to data visualisation projects includes the following stages:

Circles showing the sequential stages for data visualisation projects

  1. Scoping: During the scoping phase, we work closely with our customer to identify their needs and the needs of the intended audience. We have discussions around the data that might be shown, how it should be presented and any requirements that the customer may have. At this stage we also discuss which software is most appropriate.
  2. Build: Using the information gathered during the scoping phase, we produce a draft data visualisation.
  3. User testing: During the user testing phase, we ask the customer to provide feedback on the draft visualisation. We also conduct internal user testing, conducting in depth checks on the data and functionality of the output, with different types of audiences.
  4. Final output: Bringing together feedback from the user testing phase, we produce the final output. At this stage it is also possible to work with the customer to translate the visualisation. We will provide the final output along with any required hand over materials such as a user guide, manual for updating, and any background data.

Examples of visualisations that we have produced can be seen below. 

For more information, please contact Kathryn Hampshire.

Examples of Data Visualisation

Luxembourg's Greenhouse Gas and Air Pollutant Data Viewer

Government of Luxembourg

This viewer presents Luxembourg's greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions in the past, present and future. It also provides information on policies and measures and the potential wider impacts of climate action. This analysis will be updated for the preparation of policies and measures for the updated integrated NECP required in 2023.

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Wider impacts visualisation

Data in our wider impacts database is summarised in these interactive visualisations of climate actions and their co-benefits.

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Progress towards local net zero targets

September 2023

Explore progress towards local authority net zero targets. The viewer combines data on targets for net zero across UK local authorities and greenhouse gas emissions data from 2005 to 2021.

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Aether's Carbon Footprint

November 2021

This infographic visualises Aether's carbon footprint for 2019. It demonstrates how we are trying to minimise our impact through low carbon travel and offsetting our greenhouse gas emissions.

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Jersey Infographic

Aether created a data viewer for the States of Jersey to visualise the Jersey greenhouse gas emissions inventory. The viewer provides insight into the historical emissions in Jersey and allows the user to explore the trends. It also visualises the actions that Jersey have put in place to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, illustrating how Jersey intends to meet the national emissions reduction target.

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Climate actions and SDGs

An analysis of the wider impacts of climate action can reveal possible synergies and conflicts between climate action and Sustainable Development Goals. This can lead to more effective, joined up policy making where benefits are maximised and areas of caution are highlighted.

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City of London Air Quality

This visualisation allows the user to explore air quality monitoring, trends and possible health impacts in the City of London. In 2001, the whole of the Square Mile was declared an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) for nitrogen dioxide (NO₂) and small particles (PM₁₀). This was due to levels of these pollutants being higher than the required limits.

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Montenegro Greenhouse Gas Emissions

In 2017, Montenegro ratified the Paris Agreement, committing to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. This data viewer allows you to explore Montenegro's greenhouse gas emissions.

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Plastic Bag Charge

Since 5 October 2015, large retailers in England have been required by law to charge 5p for all single use plastic carrier bags. They are required by law to report certain information to Defra, and they provide other information on donations on a voluntary basis. Our visualisation explores the number of plastic bags, the top contributors and the amount generated from the charge that is donated to good causes by retailers.

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Oxford Sustainability Index

Aether created a data viewer for the Oxford Sustainability Index based on findings from the Oxford Sustainability Index report developed for Oxford City Council in 2016. The viewer visualises Oxford’s sustainability performance along a range of environmental indicators, and allows users to explore the City’s performance compared to other urban areas in England, Scotland and Wales.

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E-PRTR Viewer

The European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR) is the Europe-wide register that provides easily accessible key environmental data from more than 30,000 industrial facilities in European Union Member States and in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Serbia and Switzerland. This E-PRTR viewer enables exploration and analysis of the data.

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Paris Tracker

Tracking the ratification progress of the Paris Agreement. In accordance with Article 21, paragraph 1, of the Paris Agreement, the Agreement shall enter into force on the 30th day after the date on which at least 55 Parties to the Convention accounting in total for at least an estimated 55 % of the total global greenhouse gas emissions have deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession with the Depositary. It entered into force on 4 November 2016.

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Don't just take our word for it...

“The Aether team were a joy to work with and I would recommend the consultancy - the service provided throughout the process was exceptional. Where there were problems, they provided solutions. The team were working to very short time scales but were able to deliver a high quality piece of work within the specified time frame.”

Sefton Council - for the Merseyside Atmospheric Emissions Inventory

“A heartfelt thank you to all the Aether team for this very comprehensive review – this is certainly turning out to be one of the most beneficial capacity building projects I have ever been involved in.”

Saviour Vassallo, Senior Environment Protection Officer, Malta Resources Authority

“Aether is a great partner for work in the area of European Air Emissions. The team was committed, reliable, well organised and had a deep technical understanding and motivated other partners with their good spirit.”

Umweltbundesamt: Environment Agency Austria

“Aether's approach to couple innovative visualisation with high expertise manpower delivered valuable insights for our inventory work.”

Umweltbundesamt (Germany)

“Aether was a great asset in involving/engaging with Member States experts on highly technical subjects regarding GHG reporting. Very clear communication of issues and results.”

Andreas Pilzecker, DG CLIMA

“It has been a pleasure to work with Chris Dore and Richard Claxton from Aether: they did their job in a very professional and timely manner. The workshop was organized and carried out in a cooperative spirit; the information provided to the workshop participants was complete and clear.”

Alina Novikova, UN/ECE Secretariat

“The Aether team were a joy to work with and I would recommend the consultancy - the service provided throughout the process was exceptional.”

Clare Bayley, Defra

“Professional team and very collaborative communication. Effective result in terms of suggestions for improvement in the quality of the inventory and proposals on how to streamline specific topics.”

Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research

“Aether delivered training workshops and generated learning materials for our SSN members, providing technical content in a manageable and comprehendible format. We particularly benefitted from their extensive knowledge and ability to interpret the needs of our members into the training materials.”

Jennifer Anderson, Sustainable Scotland Network

“Chris was excellent to work with and always very pro active in making suggestions, taking work forward and applying his considerable technical knowledge in effective ways.”

Robert Vaughan, Defra Air Quality Team

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