> Posted by Sonja E. Kelly, Fellow, CFI

There’s a lot of data out there. And some of us are brave enough to use it (including you, my friend).

Recently we released an interactive Data Explorer tool and individual Country Profiles, allowing users to visually explore financial inclusion data in comparison with other development indicators in one central location. You can see our analysis of some of the data, but more importantly, we would like to invite you to explore the data for yourself.

For those interested in financial inclusion figures in specific countries, regions, or income groups of interest, visit Country Profiles. There we display data from the Global Findex along with demographic data relevant to understanding financial inclusion across the lifecycle. As we continue our own analysis of global trends, we will add figures on income, urbanization, technology, and more for each country.

Click on the financial inclusion bars to see a breakdown of the data by client segment, and use the tool to understand why or how people use financial services in particular countries. At the bottom of the page, you can interact with the demographic data by scrolling through the years to see past and projected population trends from 1950 to 2100. (This is very cool.)

For those who want a data adventure, driven by an interest in specific issues or factors, we suggest you go to Data Explorer. Data are now available from the UN on demography, the Findex on financial inclusion, as well as the World Bank’s World Development Indicators, with more to be added in the coming months.

Data Explorer is built on Google’s platform, and lets users choose the type of graph they want to look at, add up to four variables, plot the data on a map, and more. For datasets that include more than one year, you can “play” a video of the variable changing over time (look for the triangle in the bottom left hand corner). If you have a hypothesis you want to investigate, this is the place to go.

For example, I’ve been wondering for some time now if mobile phone penetration translates into the use of mobile phones for banking. I plotted, therefore, mobile phone subscriptions against the percent of people that use mobile phones to receive money. Each dot represents a country, and I colored the countries by their income group (as determined by the World Bank). I found something quite surprising:

There really doesn’t seem to be much of a relationship in 2011 between mobile phone subscriptions and the percent of people who use a mobile phone to receive money. This raises the question of what prompts mobile phone banking to take root in a financial culture.

Over the coming months, we’ll be posting observations and analyses that emerge from the use of these tools. If you find something that you want to share, feel free to contact us. We’re looking forward to hearing stories from the data adventures our users take.

For more information on Financial Inclusion 2020, sign up for campaign updates.

Have you read?

International Women’s Day 2013: Where Are We With Women’s Access to Financial Services?

First Report from FI2020′s Mapping the Invisible Market Highlights Implications for Financial Inclusion as World’s Demography Changes

CFI, Citi, and Visa Inc. Launch Financial Inclusion 2020 to Accelerate Universal Financial Access