What am I looking at?

This is a visual representation of data derived from a survey of experts from 72 Global Agenda Councils of the World Economic Forum. The experts were asked to answer three survey questions:

This visualization was created for the 2010 Global Agenda Council Interlinkage Survey Data Visualization Contest.

Using data derived from a survey of these experts, interactive designers are asked to create a data visualization that will help elucidate the interconnectedness among issues, highlight the emerging clusters and catalyse dialogue at the Summit between the Councils.



Each Council consists of one or more organizations. Respondent Councils are the Councils that filled out the survey. Linked Councils are the Councils the respondent Councils want to interact with. There are 3 agenda's (Global, Regional and Industry) that contain a set of Councils.



The width of a line represents the number of organizations a respondent Councils want to interact with a linked Council. The color of a line represents the strength of a link: this is the ratio of the number of organization that want to interact with a linked Council versus the total number of organizations for this respondent Council. Darker lines mean stronger links. So, linking with 9 out of 10 organizations to a linked Council will result in a darker line than 1 out of 10, but also darker than 9 out of 20.



For respondent Councils the width of a bar shows the number of linked Councils this respondent Council wants to interact with, and for linked Councils the width of a bar shows the number of respondent Councils that want to interact with this linked Council. The height of a bar shows the total number of organizations for this Council. So, a linked Council with a small width and a large height has only a few respondent Councils that want interact with it, but a large number of organizations within these respondent Councils want to interact with this linked Council.

Selecting Agenda and Rank

Agenda and Rank

To select a different agenda or rank, click on one of the boxes. The selected agenda and ranks are highlighted. If you click on a box, a range starting from rank 1 will be selected. So, clicking on 3 Regional Agenda will show all the results for Regional Agenda from rank 1 to rank 3.

Showing one Council only

Move your mouse over the bar of a respondent Council or a linked Council to see only this council.


The original data set contains the following entities:

For this visualization not all data is used, only Rank, Type, Respondent Council and Linked Council is used. The original data can be found here: Excel spreadsheet Zip archive containing csv files.

Suggestions for future development

The data offers many more opportunities for further investigation and visualization. A few of the unanswered questions are for example:

There are different ways to visually answer these questions. Also, perhaps some advanced data mining would reveal interesting clusters. As you can see when you select the highest rank for one of the Agenda's, it seems that almost every Council links to every other Council.



This visualization is developed using Protovis. Protovis is free and open-source, provided under the BSD License. It uses JavaScript and SVG for web-native visualizations; no plugin required though you will need a modern web browser! (current versions of IE not supported)


Jan Willem Tulp
Twitter: @JanWillemTulp
Source code on GitHub: https://github.com/janwillemtulp/wef-dataviz-contest-nov2010