Infographic: Birmingham Council salaries merged with corporate structure

It’s only human nature to be interested in what other people get paid for a living.  It’s even more interesting when those people are top executives at a City Council in the midst of an unprecedented austerity program.

Birmingham City Council will vote tomorrow  on a budget that will eliminate 7,000 full-time jobs and reduce wages and benefits for thousands of employees.  The goal is to save £300 million over the next four years.

City Council bosses earn £4.6 million

For months, the unions have been arguing that the cuts will disproportionately affect the poor, the elderly, students and and the disabled in a city with one of the highest unemployment rates in Britain.   In an interesting bit of timing, a transparency directive from central government led to the release this past week of salaries earned by the most senior employees of Birmingham City Council.  Collectively, the top 47 executives earn £4.6 million annually, not including packages, pension contributions or the bonus of chief executive Stephen Hughes.

I’ve been playing around with data visualization and decided to create an infographic that merges the executive salaries with a diagram of the Council corporate structure.  The goal was to give readers of our website, Birmingham Budget Cuts, a more clear sense  of the story than could be gleaned from a spreadsheet.

To view full screen click here.

To view full screen click here.

My original goal was to create an automated mash-up using one of the many tools we’ve been studying in the MA Online Journalism program, but I couldn’t find one that would produce a flow chart.  When it became  clear I would need to create the graphic manually, I turned to Google Docs, which I’ve learned is a very handy default to solve many data visualization problems.  These infographics were created using the relatively new Google drawing application.

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This entry was posted in Birmingham Budget Cuts, data journalism and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Infographic: Birmingham Council salaries merged with corporate structure

  1. There is an org chart ‘Google Gadget’ which you can use in Google Spreadsheets. More here: http://docs.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=91597

  2. Pingback: Excellent advice on data journalism for those of us who don’t code | Hedy Korbee

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