In the morning, I check my smart phone and i pad mini to see what happened during the night. Every time I touch them, data is generated automatically. How many devices such as smart phones and tablets are there in the world? I am sure a lot of data is generated at this moment.
It is also noted that FRB, World Bank, IMF and other public institutions make their data available to public through their web sites. In addition, a lot of public data is getting easier to access thanks to the data gathering services. Data is the first key thing to consider when we start data analytics. Therefore, it is very important to know what kind of data is available at your disposal in analyzing data.
I have been using a data gathering service called “Quandl”. Quandl is a “data platform“, which enable us to collect numerical data published by hundreds of different sources, and host them on a single easy-to-use website. Currently it can be used for free. Once I obtain the data, I visualize it in order to understand what it means and what the mechanism is behind the data. I use ” DataHero” to visualize the data I obtain. It is easy to produce many kinds of charts and graphs. By “DataHero”, I can produce a lot of graphs by following its instructions, then choose the best one to present what I want to say. It can be used for basic functionality without any fee. If you pay fees, you can get more functionality such as a tool to combine multiple datasets.
According to the sun newspaper on May 20 2014, Mr Najib Abdul Razak, prime minister of Malaysia, said that the 6.2% of GDP growth in the first quarter of this year as extremely outstanding. This is the highest among the list he presented in his Facebook site. Let us see what is going on from the past to the present in terms of economic growth of Malaysia. I pick up the data of Real GDP growth rate, Unemployment rate and Consumer price index (CPI) since 1990 in Malaysia by using Quandl and visualize these data by using DataHero. It is very easy and takes less than 5 minutes if you are getting familiar with these systems. Source : Open Data for Africa (IMF)
This graph tells us economic growth in Malaysia since 1990. The growth rate is over 5%, except two economic crisis in 1998, 2009 and 2001. The unemployment rate has been around 3%, which is good for the economy. CPI is also around 3% and stable. I can say economic growth without inflation currently is achieved in Malaysia.
I would like to compare it to the situation in Japan since 1980. Let us see the graph below.
GDP growth peaked out in the late of the 1980s, when the bubble economy was peaked. Since 1990, when the bubble burst, Japan has experienced the low economic growth. CPI has been very low and sometimes went to negative as Japan has been in deflation. The unemployment rate has been gradually increasing and peaked over 5%. This period is called “the lost two decades” as Japan has poor economic performances. It is not easy to explain why it happened in Japan. Some economists blamed monetary policy was not so effective enough to recover its economy. Others criticized the fiscal stimulate was too late, too small and too short. I would like to analyze the mechanism of ” lost two decades” going forward in this blog.