Application of Statistical Visualization Tools on Global Competitiveness Data

Application of Statistical Visualization Tools on Global Competitiveness Data

Ulas Akkucuk (Bogazici University, Turkey)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4635-3.ch002


Many global organizations provide valuable sources of country-specific data to the general public. The data are a very good source of secondary information to the global firms making country entry decisions as well as providing input to the policy makers in the international organizations and the country governments. One such organization is the World Economic Forum disseminating the results of a global competitiveness study every year. The Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) focuses on 12 variables that are deemed to be important for the country’s competitiveness and hence suitability for investment. The coverage of the GCI has been increasing over the years. The latest report (2012-2013) carries data on 144 countries. With the amount of data increasing it becomes important to summarize the intrinsic elements with the use of visual tools. Multivariate statistical tools could summarize vast amounts of data while retaining the critical pieces of information and the interdependencies between the variables and the objects. This chapter demonstrates the use of two such techniques, namely Cluster Analysis and Multidimensional Scaling (MDS) on the World Economic Forum 2012-2013 Global Competitiveness data.
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As the focus of global companies expands more than ever into seeking investments in new markets, the need for secondary data that would help the entry decisions also grows. International organizations such as World Bank, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and many others provide data on a routine basis on various aspects of an individual country’s economic outlook or technological strengths.

Secondary data are a fundamental source of information in the area of Global Marketing due to many factors including ready availability, low cost (in some cases), relevance and the ability to provide background information on a specific city, region, country or industry. When the management of a company has little information about a potential country to invest in, especially in emerging markets, secondary data sources may be of particular advantage. Secondary data are available from libraries or from organization that provide these data in publications. Nowadays a large number of institutions publish their data on the World Wide Web. The prospective users either download these for free or a fee may need to be paid in order to gain access to the reports. Regardless of the fees, compared to the difficulties of conducting primary research in a foreign country secondary data offer an unbeatable advantage.

Macroeconomic data are widely available in many formats and from different international organizations. These data sets include economic, social, demographic, industrial and business statistics collected from countries covered in the surveys. The United Nations (UN) is the principle provider of global secondary data. The UN itself, and the agencies affiliated with it routinely provide statistics about member nations. Due to the confusion caused by many different web sites with varying access rules the UN actually created a UNdata portal which brings UN statistical databases within easy reach of users through a single entry point and users can search and download a variety of statistical resources of the UN system (UNdata, 2013). This web site has 18 affiliated organizations, listed below, which provide many statistics in their field of specialization:

  • Food and Agrıculture Organization (FAO)

  • International Labor Organization (ILO)

  • International Monetary Fund (IMF)

  • International Telecommunications Union (ITU)

  • Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)

  • The World Bank (WB)

  • UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UNESCO)

  • United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

  • United Nations Development Program (UNDP)

  • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

  • United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)

  • United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

  • United Nations Population Division (UN)

  • United Nations Statistics Division (UN)

  • World Health Organization (WHO)

  • World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

  • World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

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