Use R to perfect quarterly ministerial briefings on export
Using R is becoming more and more prevalent in academia and industries. Last major field awaiting to be conquered is government. In this post, I would like to show how I used R to improve the informativeness of quarterly ministerial briefings on export. Ministerial briefings are strictly bounded by length. Briefing contents can only take up to one page long (one side of an A4 paper) with several pages of appendix, mostly tables, attached at the end. Contents of a briefing are often found to be punchy but dry -- only significant things are covered without a sense of big picture. Without adding pressures on the length of a briefing, highly professional graphs produced using R are ideal for conveying stories behind complex data.
Jobs in detail, Data and Results
As I was working on a briefing about export, I would like to create a graph to show my audience where our products went and who were our most important markets. In addition, I would also like make another graph to show who were the key competitors regarding a significant export product and in which market we competed the most.
With these ideas in mind, I started to gather data. Export data is among the most abundant with the easiest access. Providing the Harmonised System Code (HS Code), you can download the latest export data from Inforshare Statistics New Zealand. Export data for competitors, however, is harder to get. I used paid service from Global Trade Information Services. An alternative source, free but with one year lag, is Trademap.