The World Bank: Leveraging Data for Equality — Visualizing and Analyzing Geospatial Shapefiles

Winter 2021

Develop for Good is an intercollegiate 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that pairs, trains and supports student volunteers as they develop technical product solutions for nonprofits. Some of our most notable partners include UNICEF, the World Bank, and the World Health Organization. Learn more at!

Project Summary
This project visualized and analyzed multiple historical survey data sets and geospatial shapefiles in Tableau. The end goal was for our users (governmental institutions, economists, statisticians, etc.) to have a tool that could visualize poverty using as much relevant data as possible to make decisions regarding public policy.*

The Challenge
This project helps take multiple datasets and layers them into one tool for end users. The aim is to support clients in decision-making by both analyzing and visualizing historical datasets. Our team had several types of data to work with: spatial shapefiles, survey data, time series data, and much more. We had to find a way to combine them all into one single comprehensive tool (per city) that could help institutions design economic policy.

Our Solution
Our team initially cleaned the data in Python before utilizing Tableau to visualize the data. We chose Tableau over ArcGIS or qGIS for the Python/R integration and filtering capabilities it provided. Furthermore, Tableau was much more intuitive from an analytical standpoint. We wanted to create a tool that could easily filter data by year while simultaneously providing context about what was being visualized.

Our Impact
We hope that our data dashboards will make designing economic policy in developing countries a bit easier for end users now that multiple spatial and survey datasets are available for analysis and are layered into one tool.

The Team

Emily Xu (PM) — UC Berkeley ‘21

Ankur Jain — UC Berkeley ‘21

Mina Sultana Mahmood — Stanford ‘21

Tina Wong — Stony Brook ‘22

Xinyu Hu — Stanford ‘22

Zain Asghar — Brown ‘22

*We are unfortunately unable to share project screenshots and more information about this project due to the project’s sensitivity and privacy.