The tree of truth project was called to life in the beginning of 2019 together with Estonian main government office. We tried to solve the problem of how to display the 135 most important indicators of Estonian life to express the health of Estonian society.
The Tree of Truth represents the 135 most important indicators, as defined by the Estonian main government office, and which originated from 3 different government development plans:
1) Estonian current development plan goals for 2020
2) Estonian long term development plan for 2035
3) Sustainable development goals
Every leaf represents an indicator, and therefore together showing the health of Estonian society:
- Green leaves show that everything is OK with the indicator - the value is positive or it has a positive trend;
- Yellow leaves show that the indicator is stable or has not yet moved towards an expected value;
- Red leaves show that something is wrong or the trend of the indicator is clearly negative.
If you click on a leaf, there emerges more detailed information for each indicator, explaining the value and showing the values from the past periods to compare.
The Tree of Truth is a customized platform, which was designed to meet the needs of Statistics Estonia. We wanted to show the 135 indicators in a one single view to visualize the health of Estonian society: the greener the tree, the better we are doing. As the Tree of Truth is an oak tree, it is important to mention that the oak tree is Estonia's national tree.
What Makes Your Project Innovative?
Statistics Estonia is not aware of any similar solution among other public authorities, neither in Estonia, nor anywhere else in the world. The design of The Tree of Truth is unique and has been welcomed very warmly in the Nordic Statistics meeting (August 2019 in Helsinki) and in the EU Dataviz conference in Luxembourg (November 2019). While launching in October 2019, the President of Estonia gave the opening words.
What is the current status of your innovation?
The project was launched publicly on 7th of October 2019. It is the 1.0 version of the solution and at first only in Estonian language, but the full English version was released in January 2020.
Collaborations & Partnerships
The concept and indicators where developed with Estonian main government office. The designer and developer was Estonian company Optimist.
Users, Stakeholders & Beneficiaries
The Tree of Truth has been called to life to provide information and true knowledge for all Estonian citizens.
Results, Outcomes & Impacts
The launch on 7th of October was published within all of Estonia's most prominent news sites and welcomed very positively among Estonians. It has got a lot of feedback in terms of indicators shown. Visualizing data helps to understand it in a more comprehensive and accessible way. An official client feedback tool can also be found online. Based on public feedback and user experience analysis we have defined the 2.0 version of the project and implemented it in 2020.
Challenges and Failures
The project on the whole has been a success, however the short development time of the back-end side means that we still have quite a lot manual work to update the indicator values. Later in 2020 (with versions 2.0 and 3.0) we want to move towards full API connections with our main public database.
Conditions for Success
- Strong will and belief that the project will succeed (the idea came straight from top management and the project had the top managers support all the way)
- The infrastructure offered by the Government Cloud project, which offers flexible and quick cloud solution for hosting (we didn't use our main IT partner for this project)
- Strong external partner for the design and development work
- Strong marketing and communication to reach to all Estonian people
The innovation is quite new so it's yet hard to describe or evaluate the replication possibilities. However the solution itself might be fully replicable of course.
1. It is crucial to get the top management's support for an innovation to succeed
2. The first design drafts might not be the perfect product to visualize 135 indicators, but an iterative approach allows the product to slowly develop, while taking user feedback into account
3. The cooperation with the main government office might turn out to be an innovation for both sides - for the country and for Statistics Estonia
- Generating Ideas or Designing Solutions - finding and filtering ideas to respond to the problem or opportunity
- Implementation - making the innovation happen
10 November 2021