Data Visualization

Blog of the Data Visualization & Communication Course at OSB-AUB

This is my favorite part about analytics: Taking boring flat data and bringing it to life through visualization” John Tukey

Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing

Contributors: Karim Ahmad, Razane Hani, Sara Kaddoura, Mohanad Rifai, Wassim Radwan, Ghida Raydan


Social media is defined by its interactivity, connectedness, and user-generated content. In today’s society, the use of social media has become a necessary daily activity. It is typically used for social interaction and is a valuable communication tool with others locally and worldwide, as well as to share, create, and spread information. It can influence consumers’ purchase decisions through reviews, marketing tactics, and advertising. Essentially, social media vastly impacts our ability to communicate, form relationships, access, and spread information, and arrive at the best decision.

Startups & E-commerce:

For an e-commerce startup, social media campaigns are the heart and soul of the business. Identifying what sort of marketing campaigns and what platforms to use can make or break the company. Most startups are going fully digital since it’s more profitable due to cost reduction and the absence of a physical location. Also, it’s more appealing to the younger generation to shop online due to their busy lifestyles and high usage of social media. With a solid online presence, it will be feasible for any company to expand globally.

Digital marketing campaigns should serve several purposes, for instance, engagement campaigns don’t focus on generating sales, it’s leaning toward generating interactivity on the content posted, while a conversion campaign is focused on turning potential customers into buyers. Those campaigns should be delivered using the right channels, deciding on which platform to use and the type of content to post on a certain platform will play a huge role in increasing audience engagement and enhancing the image of the brand.

Analysis and Insights:

In our case, we analyzed social media marketing campaigns that were implemented by a Lebanese e-commerce company. They launched multiple campaigns with different goals and used several platforms but the best-performing ones were Instagram and Facebook. The performance differed among the campaigns and platforms, Facebook had higher numbers when it comes to reach, impressions, and link clicks, however, Instagram generated more unique purchases. This can be linked to the demographics of Instagram users, the majority of them are millennials that make impulsive purchases and enjoy trying out new products.




In addition to measuring performance, data can act as a starting point for expansion plans. Google Trends offer data related to searches in different countries, analyzing this data will generate insights that will unleash new perspectives into what markets and which countries will have great potential if the company decided to expand.


Netflix inc. Raising Awareness or Capitalizing on Social Injustice?

Netflix inc. Raising Awareness or Capitalizing on Social Injustice?

Contributors: Abdel Rahman Al Estwani, Sara Al Nesany, Lea El Halabi, Nour El Saadi, Hadi Sleiman, Charles Wakim

Netflix is today’s world’s leading streaming entertainment service. With very humble beginnings, Netflix grew enough to successfully overcome Blockbuster. It then grew enough to fall in the loop of corporate greed and use social causes for its own growth.

Yes, read what you just read again… If you do not see what we are trying to say, here’s a quick video that summarizes our claims:

So our aim is to debunk the myths that shape a positive image of Netflix. It is not what it pretends to be. That said, we would rather take you down a quick story to walk you through our findings… and How we found them… To do that, please enjoy our Streamlit dashboard:

While we are sure Netflick$ won your hearts at first, we are also sure that you were left revolted by Netflow$’s greed. That said, we do not undermine the strategic mind of Netflick$ who quickly turned into Netflow$… In fact, Netflix’s strategic use of time and social causes to grow their public interactivity enabled them to create noise around them. For instance, when anger spurred because of the representation of a gay character in a Turkish Netflix show, people convened to watch the show on Netflix. Indeed, any publicity is good publicity. 

While we have focused on LGBTQAI and BLM causes, we do also acknowledge that Netflix has most probably used the same strategy with other minority groups, and will probably still continue to capitalize on social causes- be it the ones we mentioned or others. It is Netflix’s way of being trendy and riding the wave, and it sure helps them grow (as you saw on the documentation). We strongly denounce these uses. Nonetheless… if we were to pass one message to Netflix it would be the following: you might indeed capitalize over minorities and social causes, but at least, at the very least, improve the quality of the titles you add to your ‘social cause’-related categories… improve your representations of these minorities that suffer… you can capitalize, but at least make it worthwhile and properly help the minorities…

We leave you with your conscious to decide how to proceed with everything you just learned…

Do let us know what you think and follow us on Instagram to stay updated and debunk other nyths 🙂

The Educational Equity in Lebanon: A Right or a Privilege?

The Educational Equity in Lebanon: A Right or a Privilege?

Contributors: Bothaina Amro, Serge Boyajian, Nora Chidiac, Majd El Masri, Zainab Hodroj, Lea Zaarour

The Lebanese economic crisis has affected the country on all levels: Financial, industrial, commercial, and educational. Education is an important metric to measure a country’s development future and the fate of its citizens and economy. Countries compete on literacy rates which lead to higher economic growth and development. The project tackles Lebanon’s main source of inequity in education starting from trend comparison and assessment, main problem to solution. Unfortunately, Lebanon shows an imbalance in terms of allocation of funding for education between different governorates and districts. As a result of this imbalance, Mount Lebanon governorate ranked first in term of literacy of its residents while Baalbek-Al Hermel and Akkar governorates ranked last. Therefore, 3 datasets were collected from IMPACT (‘لمستوى التعليمي’, ‘الموارد التعليمية’, ‘تطلعات القطاع التعليمي’) to determine which governorate is in most need of educational initiatives. A detailed consolidated dashboard was created to visualize the big picture and main concepts derived from each of the datasets. As a result, Mount Lebanon, the governorate with the most educational initiatives and top literacy of residents rank, reported the most educational institutes and a low illiteracy and drop-out rate. On the other hand, Akkar and Baalbek-Hermel, two governorates in which the sum of the educational initiatives implemented is less than that of Mount Lebanon, reported the highest illiteracy and drop-out rate. This shows that educational initiatives and educational literacy are positively correlated. Henceforth, the Lebanese government must focus on shifting funds allocation between governorates and implementing educational initiatives in governorates in need, such as Akkar and Baalbek-Hermel, without neglecting other governorates.
In this project, the focus is on the educational sector’s performance during the tough conditions that the country is facing. As the parliamentary elections are near in Lebanon, this report will spread awareness on the educational sector’s need and how it can be improved.

Food Insecurity in Lebanon

Food Insecurity in Lebanon

Contributors: Sara Ramadan, Jana El Oud, Wael El Aridi, Mohammad Mohsen, Mahdi Mohammad, Amir Bazzi


Food insecurity, described as a situation in which a household suffers from disruption of food intake or of eating patterns given limited funds and other resources, is a major nutrition and economic issue worldwide. The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines food insecurity as the lack of consistent access to adequate food for an active, healthy life.

Lebanon is currently facing marginal food security and low food security where households are facing anxiety over food sufficiency or shortage of food, as well as the reduction in quality and variety of food. This phenomenon is caused due to poverty and the lack of adequate resources.

Since 2019, Lebanon has been facing an economic crisis which has led to the deterioration of the Lebanese Lira. The World Food Programme reported a 340 percent increase in the price of the basic food basket by May 2021. This has left many Lebanese households unable to afford the essential food items.


We are tackling three strategies that can be implemented to reduce Food Insecurity in Lebanon:

  1. Distribution of Food Parcels

Food parcels are parcels of food prepared and sent , especially by charitable organizations, to people in need. NGOs can aid the Lebanese people by distributing these parcels that contain items that are sufficient to provide the required daily nutritional values.Handing out weekly food parcels with nutritionally balanced products for households can decrease the burden of securing food. We determined the optimal items to be included are bread, pasta, rice, milk, oat, beans, lentils, tuna, and biscuits.


  1. Supporting the Agricultural Sector

According to the world bank, 64% of the Lebanese land is cultivatable and almost 14% is arable. In addition to the abundance of water resources, Lebanon has an average rainfall of 2.2 billion m³ per year. These numbers are significantly higher than other countries in the region which shows that this sector, if used efficiently, can help diversify the economy and increase the resiliency of the people in case of any sudden crises.
Although this sector currently contributes to 3% of the Lebanese GDP, data shows that this sector is severely underutilized. Moreover, the yield for some of the major crops has been decreasing. This is evident from the Total Factor Productivity that has decreased on average by 0.46%.

Supporting this sector optimizes the yield by increasing the supply of the items leading to local price reduction. This will decrease the import dependency for food consumption which averages around 75-80%.

The government and the NGOs can support this sector by encouraging the production of the primary materials used in the cultivation to decrease their imports, as well as asking for some international help to supply the farmers with the latest machinery as most of the farmers are still using outdated techniques.

Also, the government and the NGOs could educate farmers about the proper way of using the chemicals as there have been concerns regarding chemical levels in the products. The government should also take restrictive measures to limit the export of products that do not meet the quality standards required by other countries.


  1. Supporting the Livestock Sector

According to a study done by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in 2015, it was found that 1% of the Lebanese population raises livestock. There is a high dependence on imports to satisfy these needs where the imports of sheep and cattle recorded 416,289 and 317,818 heads respectively. On the other hand, only 90,986 sheep heads and 2,997 cattle heads were exported. Thus, the NGOs and the Lebanese Government should increase veterinary services provided, support livestock related research, and conduct training sessions forfor livestock raisers about the food diet of livestock, widespread diseases, breeding, and grazing techniques would play a major role in increasing the productivity of the livestock sector.


Supporting the agriculture and livestock sectors, as well as handing out food parcels does not mean that Lebanon will be self-sufficient when it comes to food, but it will decrease the burden of the current crises and any future disaster that might put the Lebanese people at risk of food insecurity.


Kindly view the below dashboard in full-screen view.


Lebanon: The Crisis & The Opportunities

Lebanon: The Crisis & The Opportunities

Rafic Srouji, Lara Zbibo, Anas Sidani, Dima Daouk, Ziad Moghabghab, Celine Kabbara


As MSBA students, we are used to working with data daily, we are accustomed to hearing about its importance and how it holds the answers to any question we might have. We didn’t really understand how powerful data was until we were asked a question we didn’t have the answer to, and with the use of data we were able to unearth the answers to our question.

It was Monday February 22, directly after our Data visualization class, we were walking from OSB to Zaituna Bay and we were discussing different potential ideas for our upcoming visualization course when suddenly we were stopped by a SkyNews reporter. He asked us if we were students and then proceeded with asking us the one question that captured our curiosity:


Luckily, they included MSBA’s one and only Rafic Srouji in the news report the next day. His answer was:

This whole interaction got us thinking and sparked our curiosity; we wanted to find out why is the cost of consumer goods drastically increasing and what can we do about it.

As residents of Lebanon, we experienced first-hand the dramatic rise of prices every time the Lira devalues with an average inflation rate of 132.98%, so we joined the monthly inflation rate data in Lebanon with the monthly Lira rate data from 2019 till 2022. After plotting the timeseries data, we found that when the lira rate increases the inflation rate increases substantially. With further research, we found that the price of consumer goods changes substantially with the fluctuation of the lira because most consumer goods are imported, thus being purchased with the USD.

In order to get more insights about the nature of the trade deficit (exports and imports), we analyzed the Lebanese exports and imports data. This enabled us to create charts that compare the import and export values in Lebanon, and to divide them by sector.

As we can see in the dashboard’s charts, Lebanon has a large trade deficit of $12.81 Billion with most consumer goods being imported, this definitely plays a huge role in the increase of prices. If Lebanon was more self-sufficient when it comes to consumer goods and other basic products, the price of said products could potentially decrease and would be less volatile to changes in the lira rate.

Lebanon imports 20% of its total imports from the Agriculture sector, as well as 20% from the Minerals sector, which both constitutes to its highest imports. Our focus as to evaluate whether this amount could be reduced.

A big discovery was found! Lebanon has opportunities all over its area, hidden in its chaos; the country has at least one available factory that can produce goods from any tradeable sector. Lebanon has more than enough factories to reach the dream of putting a dent in the trade deficit. The country has 1,616 factories in the food industry that can dramatically decrease the high prices of food and beverages, if properly exploited.

A comparison between Turkey and Lebanon was found to be a great validation to our proposed solution. Turkey’s Lira has lost more than 70% of its value since 2021, but it was found that the inflation rate didn’t follow as aggressively as that of Lebanon. The weaker correlation between the Turkish Lira rate and the Turkish inflation rate is a direct result of the strong local production in Turkey. Turkey has a negligible trade deficit of $29 million which is negligible in comparison to its population (85 million), in opposite to Lebanon who has a trade deficit of $12.82 billion with a population of 6.83 million.

Local production is a key player in decreasing Turkey’s yearly trade deficit. Improving local production is seen to be effective in decreasing the country’s trade deficit, and decreasing the prices of goods.

From here, our findings demonstrate that there is a crucial need for local production. To do so, the government must allocate resources towards these factories and exploit them, especially in times we need them the most. This would potentially increase tourism, increase local jobs, and decrease prices all together.