4/4/2016

Panama Papers: A 2.6 terabyte trove of data on the offshore financial industry

 

The Panama Papers make up the world's largest ever data leak, containing 2.6 terabytes of data, or 11.5 million internal files, from the firm Mossack Fonseca. Originally obtained by Süddeutsche Zeitung, the files were shared with the The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and over 100 other media partners. From this collaboration, the teams have published shocking insights into the world of offshore finance and the wrongdoings enabled by it.

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Image: ICIJ.

As well as a myriad of print, broadcast and multimedia reportage, the ICIJ has also published a visualization gallery.

Driven by Rigoberto Carvajal, Mar Cabra, Álvaro Ortiz and Fernando Blat, this gallery highlights key figures and trends extracted from the project's 2.6 terabyte trove of data.

Beyond the data's revelations, the analysis process itself also exposed the shifty modes of operation utilized by offshore companies.

"This internal database didn’t have a date for the closing of the companies. In the offshore world entities are hardly closed: they’re either inactivated or they stop paying fees and their status changes to what’s called “struck off” in the offshore lingo. ICIJ considered inactivation and struck off dates as the deactivation date of the companies. In the case of any discrepancy between the two dates, ICIJ used the one that happened first. A company was counted as active from the incorporation date until it was inactivated or struck off," the team explain in the data methodology.

In addition to the project's graphs, the team developed an interactive visualization to help audiences understand the connections between major players in network.

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Image: ICIJ.

By clicking onto an individual, like Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud below, the audience can delve deeper into their role in the offshore network via links to associated documents as well as a network visualization.

Explore the full Panama Papers project here.

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