Macroprudential Oversight, Risk Communication and Visualization

45 Pages Posted: 21 May 2014

See all articles by Peter Sarlin

Peter Sarlin

Hanken School of Economics; RiskLab Finland

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Date Written: May 19, 2014


This paper discusses the role of risk communication in macroprudential oversight and of visualization in risk communication. Beyond the soar in availability and precision of data, the transition from firm-centric to system-wide supervision imposes obvious data needs. Moreover, broad and effective communication of timely information related to systemic risks is a key mandate of macroprudential supervisors, which further stresses the importance of simple representations of complex data. Risk communication comprises two tasks: internal and external dissemination of information about systemic risks. This paper focuses on the background and theory of information visualization and visual analytics, as well as techniques provided within these fields, as potential means for risk communication. We define the task of visualization in internal and external risk communication, and provide a discussion of the type of available macroprudential data and an overview of visualization techniques applied to systemic risk. We conclude that two essential, yet rare, features for supporting the analysis of big data and communication of risks are analytical visualizations and interactive interfaces. This is illustrated with implementations of three analytical visualizations and five web-based interactive visualizations to systemic risk indicators and models.

Keywords: Macroprudential oversight, risk communication, visualization, analytical visualization, interactive visualization

Suggested Citation

Sarlin, Peter, Macroprudential Oversight, Risk Communication and Visualization (May 19, 2014). SWIFT Institute Working Paper No. 2013-005, Available at SSRN:

Peter Sarlin (Contact Author)

Hanken School of Economics

PO Box 479
FI-00101 Helsinki

RiskLab Finland ( email )

Turku, 20520


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