Service Groups (i.e. service areas) and Service Items (i.e. the services within a directorate) form the building blocks for your Budget Simulator. These consist of the different areas you need to allocate spend/savings to. This article explains how to do this and provides a useful template that you can use to easily collate the information and create the structure for your Simulator.
Service Groups and Service Items explained
The Service Group is the overall area (ex. Community) and you are asking respondents to adjust the spend within this group.
Within this group there will be Service Items, such as Adult Education Services, Elderly Nursing Care, Homelessness' etc. (using the Community example).
Service Increments (also referred to as Sliders) are the amounts the respondent can adjust allocated spend to for each Service Item, which tallies into the total spend for that Service group. You can read more about Sliders and how they work here.
Budget Simulator will support the following:
- up to 7 service groups
- up to 6 service items within each group
- a maximum of 11 increments on any one slider
You can decide how your Budget Simulator will be structured by considering these questions:
- How many Service Groups will you have?
- How many Service Items will you have?
- How many increments will your sliders have?
- What is the total budget you are consulting on?
- How much of the total budget is allocated to each Item?
Use our ‘Service Groups and Service Items template’ to help you collate this information and create a structure for your Simulator.
How to set up Service Groups, Items and Increments
You are able to set up the Service Groups, Service Items and Slider Increments from the Budget tab view within your Budget Simulator.
Add the Service Groups first (up to 7). When you add a new Service Group you also set the Type (whether it is an Income or Expenditure). This is the point where you input the Service Increments. See below image for reference.
Title: Name of Group
Type: Income or Expenditure?
Scale: Set up your slider, add in how many increments you will need (up to 11)
Repeat for each Service Group
How to set up Service Items
Once you have set up the Service Groups, you can add the Service Items to each group (up to 6 per group). This is also where you enter the consequences (read here for more info about consequences). See below image for reference.
Title: Name of service item
Description: No word limit for pop out windows Text for the 'i' more info link.
Last year's spend: (or the allocated budget for this item from whatever year you are consulting against) Amount of total budget allocated to individual item.
Consequences summary: 140 suggested character limit Mobile view works best if short versions of consequences are kept to 4 lines. NB: There are consequence summaries for each Service Increment in the Service Item.
Consequences detailed: No word limit for pop out windows Expanded version of consequences. NB: There are consequence detailed for each Service Increment in the Service Item.
Repeat for each Service Item