Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name



Data Analysis & Visualization


Aucher Serr

Subject Categories

Applied Statistics | Categorical Data Analysis | Digital Humanities | Longitudinal Data Analysis and Time Series | Public Economics | Social Influence and Political Communication


budgets, new york city, government spending policy, data visualization, explanatory visualization


As a component of government, budgets are fundamental not only to improving the quality of a shared society, but also to understanding what our government officials consider to be their priorities. However, most budgets can be difficult to understand, using terms that are not familiar to people who have not studied finance or economics. To that end, Slices of the Big Apple is an interactive, centralized narrative website that uses visualizations at its core in order to: 1) facilitate a holistic understanding of the New York City government budget for NYC residents; and 2) conduct a five-year analysis of Community Board budget allocation to demonstrate one way to analyze the budget data. Using five years (Fiscal Years 2017-2021) of budget data from the New York City Comptroller’s Office, Slices of the Big Apple takes a two-fold approach to building literacy in our government finances by first visualizing the components of the budget and its process, and then leading the audience through the data for one slice of the budget: community board funding. By choosing an interactive narrative approach to visualizing budget data, this project offers an alternative to the classic “budget data dashboard” that makes such an important part of local government accessible to all.