Market study

Interactive visualizations that show the competitiveness of Minas Gerais products in international markets.

The challenge

The Minas Gerais Investment and Trade Promotion Agency (INDI) attracts investments to the state and promotes Minas Gerais products abroad.

INDI analysts use data from UN Contrade and the Secretariat of Foreign Trade, and Balassa's revealed comparative advantage to determine the competitiveness of Minas Gerais products in different countries. Conveying the information derived by analysts to micro, small and medium-sized businesses was the challenge faced by INDI.

A solution

Two interactive visualizations allow micro, small and medium-sized businesses to explore data related to the competitiveness of Minas Gerais products in international markets from different vantage points.

Interactive map
The interactive map displays the competitiveness of Minas Gerais products in diverse markets.

The interactive map shows the competitiveness of a product, whereas the interactive matrix depicts the competitiveness of a group of products. Hovering on the map or on the matrix causes additional information to be displayed. Legend buttons can be used filter data shown based on competitiveness levels of a product or group of products.

Interactive matrix
The interactive matrix allows users to compare the competitiveness of different goods within a product section.

Understanding stakeholders' needs and evaluating the prototypes

Firstly, I interviewed INDI analysts to learn how the competitiveness of MG products was communicated to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the data literacy level of the target audiences. I also asked analysts to have access to data.

I learned competitiveness info was made available to SMEs via spreadsheets. Moreover, business owners comprised both highly-educated individuals and high-school drop-outs.

After analyzing the provided data, I prototyped visualizations using D3.js to communicate information on product competitiveness and allow users to explore data in different ways. I also designed and conducted a usability test in which INDI analysts performed tasks using the prototypes and gave me invaluable feedback. Data collected helped me further improve the visualizations.