data, data journalism, data visualization, infographic, Interactivity, journalism

3 good data visualisations on economic issues

Numbers and financial information are not easy to display and some visualisations can lead to confusions or misinterpretations.

Jeff Leek gathers in his book The Elements of Data Analytic Style (2015) some words from John Tukey, one of the most innovative data scientists:

“The data may not contain the answer. The combination of some data and aching desire for an answer does not ensure that a reasonable answer can be extracted from a given body of data”.

Alberto Cairo talks about a lack of reasoning in his last book The Truthful Art. On a previous post he said:

“We are surrounded by numbers, statistics, and scientific publications; and sometimes journalists publish huge barbarities.”

Below I have gathered three good examples when it comes to explaining and visualising complex data on economics issues:

1. How China’s economic slowdown could weigh on the rest of the world

China’s imports declined in 2015. This interactive by The Guardian shows compares this loss to the rest of the world through each country’s GDP:


Sources: UN Comtrade Database, Chinese Customs Administration, World Bank.

2. A 3-D View of a Chart That Predicts The Economic Future: The Yield Curve

This interactive shows the money borrowed by the federal government and the interests since 1990.
From this data, The New York Times describes a forecast for what the economy holds in the future:

Sources: Treasury Department; Bundesbank; Thomson Reuters

3. A football player, as expensive as three ICE or 405 Merkel

The Zeit Online creates several charts to compare the 100 million euros that Real Madrid was going to pay for Gareth Bale with other things that could have been bought with the same amount of money:


Sources: Boeing:, Özil: DPA, ICE:, Autobahn: Wikipedia, Kanzlerin: Wikipedia, Porsche:, Sammer:, Fahrdienstleiter:

Do you have any other examples? Let me know in the comments


One thought on “3 good data visualisations on economic issues

  1. Pingback: My first steps into data journalism and datavis | dinfografia

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