Throughout this projects, we have attempted to answer the question of which the drivers of freedom are, and how they have evolved over time. We have tried to disclose the intertwine between socioeconomic and political factors, and uncover whatever underlying patterns there are.

Below is a video of out final visualizations, showcasing our findings:

Visuals and insights:

  • Political Rights rating (R Shiny): plotted for Europe, it allows to observe this index from 1 (highest freedom) to 7 (least free)
  • Tree map (R Shiny): shows proportions of countries that belong to a certain range of Political Rights Rating

Since our last update, we’ve primarily continued to improve our radar chart. More specifically, we’ve attempted to address the core purpose of our visualization quest, and tried to unpack the relationship between political rights and economic liberalism. Is there a connection between political and economic freedom? To answer this, we crossed over data from Freedom House’s Freedom in the World index, with various components the Fraser Institute’s economic freedom index. The chart is shown below, in its current state.

We divide the political freedom scores for all into ten equidistant ranges. We then compute and plot the mean scores…


After a fairly long hiatus, we are back in another brief blog post to update everyone on how we are doing as we implement our project. Indeed, actualizing the ideas we converged on — a process which we described in more detail a few weeks ago — has been a challenge, as it involved actually acquiring new skills and familiarizing ourselves with new tools and languages. Learning to work with these tools, some of which are mentioned below, can be time- and energy-consuming, which explains our absence. …


In this blog post, we make some — hopefully constructive — comments on blogs assigned to each of us by Prof. Aerts. We generally identify some elements to be kept, and others to be removed.

Luka commenting on blog 20 (Data Show)

Things to change:

In the diverge phase, the vector illustration of the globe is really interesting but my concern is that the tall vertical lines will overshadow and potentially hide the shorter lines. It would be ideal if you could pan the globe, however I believe the visualisation issue would still persist.

Again, the vertical line globe is…


In our previous blog post we introduced the datasets that we will be working with. Make sure to check it out ! In this next section we put pen to paper and break down the visualization design process. Sketching possible data visualizations help to convey ideas, demonstrate functionality, visualize flow, and illustrate anything that requires human interaction (for example an interactive map). The Design Process consists of three parts: Diverge, Emerge and Converge.

  • Diverge: Here we look for inspiration. We plot anything that comes to mind. Essentially, this is a brainstorming session in which ideas are jotted down on paper…


Draft: Stay tuned, more to come


Understanding the Evolution and Drivers of Political Freedom in the 21st Century

Photo by Unseen Histories on Unsplash

Why look at freedom? From this group of four students from three different continents, and with backgrounds in economics, business and social sciences, there arose a common interest in the level of success/failure of governments, and what really drives this. Hence, we decided to have as our research theme the evolution and drivers of political freedom, and how this relates to a government’s success in implementing proper public policies with the required urgency.

Out of said interest have we derived three questions as preliminary motivation:

  • How has freedom evolved globally in the current century? …

to be continued …

data wizards of kul

4 students enrolled in the master’s program of statistics and data science eager to start blogging on Medium

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