The Philippines has long been a laggard in the region in terms of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI). But for the last couple of years, FDI for the Philippines has been hitting record highs. Last year, there was a month wherein FDI numbers fell sharply year on year and critics of the Duterte Administration were quick to blame it on the President’s brash and often times controversial style of governance. The FDI numbers for the full year 2017 were an opportunity to show whether or not there was any truth to this. We used bar graphs and a touch screen TV to break down the numbers and make them more interactive and relatable in just a few hours after raw data were released.
What makes this project innovative?
FDI numbers are often presented with tables. Using charts and a touch screen TV for such a quick turnaround was again something the team was very proud of. We were also able to marry the data and graphs with some hard news, a huge inflow from a direct investment into Philippine geothermal energy company Energy Development Corporation. Mixing news with the numbers, coupling it with context on the Duterte government, made the story and the data come alive.
What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?
Through the data story, we were able to present an objective analysis of whether or not President Duterte’s bloody drug war and controversial statements against international bodies like the UN, EU and ICC had any impact on investor sentiment. The numbers spoke for themselves, three consecutive years of record high FDI numbers. Using data helped the news team show a clearer picture of the situation on the ground.
Source and methodology
The source of all raw data was the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Philippine Central Bank). The challenge was to analyze the data beyond what was presented by the government. FDIs in previous months and years were also included to illustrate the trend. It was further drilled down across the type of FDI to see what kind of investments are coming in.
MS Excel was used for data processing, analysis and visualization. A touch screen TV was used to present the data analytics within a few hours after the release of raw data.
Warren de Guzman, Bruce Rodriguez, Cathy Yang