Plotting Economic indicators on City Open Data

Plotting Economic indicators on City Open Data

In my previous post I discussed the steps I took to deploy my IPython notebook to IBM bluemix allowing users to access the tool through a browser without the need to install anything on their computers.

The next step was to modify the solution to allow for

  • Plotting the TSX exchange year closing values against any business license graphs.
  • Adding a second postal code field to allow comparing two postal code licenses numbers in one graph
  • Enhanced ‘Save’ button to save the graph so you can download it to your computer and use in presentations, documents, etc.
Enhanced output of comparing  two postal codes “Eating Establishments” licenses with the TSX yearly closing plotted in black.

Simple graphs like the above allows us to make some quick conclusions

  • M5V (downtown) postal code licenses is very much related to the TSX movements.
  • This correlation has weakened somehow since the great recession of 2008 (business shock ?!).
  • M4K (Danforth) postal code licenses seem to be steady in its issuance/cancellation rate indicating the area is resilient to economic shocks.
  • Both areas (as most other businesses) faced a high rate of cancellation in 2005 (Maybe an effect of change of regulations ?!).

Using the tool


  • Give it a few seconds to finish opening, then select ‘cell’ -> ‘run all’
  • step3
  • Use the tool to select
    • The Category you want to study
    • Optionally specify 3 Letter postal code for an area
    • Optionally specify a second postal code to compare
    • Select which data you want (Issued/Canceled/total).
  • You can now click the ‘save as png’ to save the data plot
  • estep2
  • Once you do that you can go back to the ‘home’ tree view
  • You will now see the file saved as Category_Postal_startyear_endyear.png as below
  • estep3
  • You can download and save that file for your own use.


Adding external data like TSX closing numbers, GDP data, Interest Rates, Inflation index to existing Open Data available from the government could paint a more complete picture of our analysis, showing the effect of the over all economy on both Business and Social changes in the city.



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