April 24, 2015

Global Risks

Picture this:  Every January.  Davos.  World Economic Forum. 

Most people would envision an exclusive gathering of the world’s movers and shakers, some might see a big collection of private jets, but since I’m a data analyst the only thing I can think of is… lots of data.  And I’m not disappointed.

Since 2006, the World Economic Forum has published the annual Global Risks report which identifies risks that might cause significant negative impact for several countries and industries.  A key characteristic of global risks is their potential systemic nature to affect an entire system, as opposed to individual parts and components.

The risks can be viewed in terms of the financial impact they might cause or the probable likelihood they might occur.  The risks are also grouped into five categories:  (1) Economic, (2) Environmental, (3) Geopolitical, (4) Societal, & (5) Technological. 

The data was visualized as a bump chart.  The viz reveals that economic risk dominated from 2007 to 2014, such as asset-price bubble as top risk (during the Global Financial Crisis 2007-2009) and fiscal crises as a result of constrained fiscal finances (immediate post-crisis years 2010-2014).

In 2015, societal and geopolitical risks emerge as top risks with water crises (prolonged drought), spread of infectious diseases (Ebola in West Africa), and interstate conflict (rise of Islamic State) occupying the top five risks.  Also in 2015, water crises becomes the number 1 global risk in terms of impact and its category is changed from environmental to societal to reflect its potential enormous effect to social stability.


  1. This doesn't look like it's connecting the dots properly. For example, on the far right there is a blue for Energy Price Shock that is not connected, yet when I pick that as the only risk, then I see it for every year. I suppose this is because there are missing years and you do not have "Show Missing Values" turned on.

  2. Thanks Andy for the feedback! Only a true Tableau Zen Master can spot such minute detail!