I'm looking to develop an analytics tool of economic, political, demographical, and geographical data on African states. The idea is to be able to:

  • store country data
  • ask one question for many countries at the same time
  • define a criteria and see which countries fit the bill
  • map correlations

I'm looking for advice for software solutions that is good for such a task.

(I've created a similar tool in Stata for economic data before; Stata does graphing and correlations well but appears to quickly become clumsy once the conditions and regular expressions in the queries are anything but very simple.)

I will scrape country data from many different sources and combine it all into one dataset. I'm looking for the best software to store the data in, in order to run the relevant queries and make the relevant graphs. I don't mind using different software solutions for different queries but then the database should be able to be read by all programs.

Example queries

  • Which states have experienced conflict after 2006?
  • Rank states by number of consecutive democratic elections between 1945 and 2005
  • Display South Africa's political freedom index from 1980 to 2000
  • What is (South/East/Central/West/North) Africa's dominant export?
  • Correlate per capita income with democratic rule in a scatter plot for any given year states fitting specified criteria
  • Which states held elections in 1990?

I will here have raw data on conflicts, elections, political freedom index, type of rule, trade flows, and economic indicators.

Software for OSX or Linux preferred but Windows will work as well.

I don't know much about either database structures or analytic software but not deterred by a high learning curve or long documentations as long as I end up with a solution well suited for the task. Thanks in advance for any help

  • 2
    I believe you will be able to ask those questions by learning the SPARQL Query language and using it to run queries on DBpedia. See this very helpful video for a demonstration: youtube.com/watch?v=BmHKb0kLGtA Oct 28, 2016 at 13:07

2 Answers 2


Wolfram Alpha https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfram_Alpha for a good thumbnail and at http://www.wolframalpha.com/ for the real deal. It may already have data sets computed or derivable quickly for what you are looking for. /s/ OTC


You are really looking at several pieces of software.

  • database
  • querying tool
  • create graphs based on data retrieved from queries
  • other analytics

So... database wise, MariaDB or one of the nosql databases like mongodb. Your choice of db will influence your querying tool choice. For graphing, charts, etc. you can output your queries (with counts, etc) to csv format and have OpenOffice/LibreOffice process it in the spreadsheets tool to do some graphing, for raw statistical crunching R does great and can produce various plots and graphs as well.

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