DONT PUBLISH - How to use the Almanac data dashboard


The UK Civil Society Almanac is an annual publication that provides information on the state of the voluntary sector.

We are looking to make the information that we provide more useful. So for the first year, we are producing an almanac data dashboard in conjunction as part of the publication.

This dashboard is very much an early trial (beta) version that is not fully complete. All information contained in the dashboard can also be found in the publication.

The aim of this dashboard is to:

  • present the data visually and make it easier for people to understand and access the data for influencing policy or practice in their work,
  • get a quick snapshot of what the evidence is on the charity and voluntary sector – finances, workforce and volunteering.

At this stage of the dashboard development,  we are interested in gathering feedback about how useful the dashboard is for users. useful We will use the feedback to help us decide how to proceed with this in the future.


In this trial version, the dashboard only provides some financial data from the Almanac publication. We will be expanding and building on the dashboard, introducing new data and new features each year.

There are currently seven tabs in this app:

  • two each for population (the number of charities)
  • income (the income for the sector) and expenditure (the expenditure for the sector)
  • an 'about' tab providing background information.

One of the two sub-tabs for each of these contains information for the most recent accounts. They allow you to filter and group the data in ways that you would like. The other tab provides a plot of the historical values.

General layout

Most of these six (not including “About”) tabs include sub-tabs underneath. Each sub-tab refers to how the data is filtered.

For example, the 'Income 2020/21' tab has six sub-tabs:

  • 'Total income' gives you the income for the whole sector.
  • 'Income by org size' allows you to filter to a particular size of the organisation (for example, super-majors only) and see the income. information for these particular organisations,
  • 'Income by region' allows you to filter to a particular region (for example, the north-east) and see the income information for general charities in this region.

The layout of the page always follows the same structure. The top left box is where the user chooses how to filter and display the data.

The table below the box provides the information in relation to the tab that you are on and the filters applied.

On the right-hand side of the page, this information is displayed in a graph, which is a bar chart for current account year information, and a line chart for time series data.

Below we go through each of these three boxes in more detail.


There are up to three options that the user can interact with:

  • Filter option: This is how you want to filter the data.
  • Grouping option: This is how you want to group the data.
  • Metric option: For the bar charts, you can choose whether you want the values to be for the most recent financial year, or the percentage change from the previous year to the current year.


The table gives the values for the past two years, or for the historical data since 2009/10. A few notes about the tables:

  • The default ordering of the table is by descending order of the most recent value.
  • You can sort the table by any of the years by simply clicking on that column – click once for ascending, and a second time for descending.
  • The table displays up to 10 results, but dependent on the grouping there may be more! For example, there are 18 different subsectors, and there are also 12 regions. To see more results, click on the 'next' button on the bottom right of the table.
  • You can download the table with the “download this table!” button. This will give you the data that you can see in a CSV (comma-separated values) file.


The graphs display the value for the metric that you have provided – either the population/income/expenditure for that year, or the change from the previous year to this year (available for bar charts only).

Line charts display the data over time. A few notes about these graphs:

  • The bar charts are ordered by the highest value for the metric selected down to the lowest value. Be wary that if you change the metric on the graph then this will change the order of the bars selected!
  • You can hover over the chart: for the bar charts, simply hover over a bar and it will tell you the value for the metric provided, and similarly for line charts (whilst also telling you the variable that the line represents).
  • You can ‘select’ and ‘unselect’ lines to control which lines to display from the graph legend at the bottom of the line chart.
  • You can zoom into the page by clicking and drawing a box over the information that you would like to see with your mouse. Double-click to zoom back out.
  • There are a variety of built-in options that the graph has in its top right- hand corner, such as:
    • panning
    • more zooming options
    • the ability to download the plot.
  • This is all provided through the Plotly package, which this interactive plot is produced with.

This page was last reviewed for accuracy on 12 October 2023