World Bank gets its own data visualizer

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Perhaps taking a page from Hans Rosling's extremely popular presentation of development data at the 2006 TED Talks, the World Bank now has its own publicly accessible tool for data visualisation. This first version of the tool contains 49 indicators for 209 countries taken from the World Development Indicators.

Just to get a taste of how the tool works, I looked at the number of internet users per 100 people (Y-axis) compared to GNI per capita (X-axis) and got the chart below. Each of the colored blobs represents a country, and the size of the blob represents total population. On casual observation, it looks like a lot of countries that are more wired than their income levels would predict are in eastern Europe.

For those who really want to get crazy, the tool also allows you to "play" the statistics over time. If you want to learn more about how not to bore your audience to death during your next Powerpoint presentation, check out this video tutorial. (Highly recommended for all development professionals.)


Update: A colleague wrote me to ask clarification on the chart above. I forgot to mention that each of the colors corresponds to a World Bank region. (The colors can also be modified to correspond to income or lending group or customized on a country-by-country basis by the user.) The color legend below gives the details (eastern Europe actually falls into three categories based on the default regional color scheme).

Color legend


Ryan Hahn

Operations Officer

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