Data exploration

Dealing with large amounts of data can sometimes be overwhelming. One way to make sense of data, and help reveal patterns that cannot otherwise be easily understood, is to visualise the data. Some data visualisations are showcased here to help make our statistics more understandable at-a-glance.

Revealed Comparative Advantage

RCA Radar

Revealed comparative advantage (RCA) is based on Ricardian trade theory, which posits that patterns of trade among countries are governed by their relative differences in productivity. Although such productivity differences are difficult to observe, an RCA metric can be readily calculated using trade data to "reveal" such differences. While the metric can be used to provide a general indication and first approximation of a country's competitive export strengths.

Trade in biodiversity-based products


The Trade and Biodiversity (TraBio) database, which contains information on global trade flows of biodiversity-based products, provides access for all to consistent and complete data on imports and exports of biodiversity-based products and other relevant indicators. It thus aims to contribute to establish a harmonized and internationally accepted statistical framework for biodiversity-related trade.

Global transport costs for international trade

Global transport costs map

This interactive map provides a visual understanding of global transport costs related to international trade in 2016 by country pairs. Transport costs are broken down by product (Harmonized System at six-digit level) and by mode of transport.

Productive Capacities Index

PCI page

UNCTAD’s Productive Capacities Index is a dynamic and practical tool to support developing countries in understanding the status of their productive capacity and how this can be improved. It builds on UNCTAD’s long-standing work on productive capacities, which are essential for generating inclusive and sustained economic growth and achieving sustainable development. The PCI covers 193 economies for the period 2000-2018. The set of productive capacities and their specific combinations are mapped across 46 indicators.