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Case Study | Giuseppe Castaldo | Learning How To Use TradeSift and Becoming a Trade Data Analyst

Case Study | Giuseppe Castaldo | Learning How To Use TradeSift and Becoming a Trade Data Analyst

Here at InterAnalysis, we are proud of our history of supporting and working with recent graduates who have chosen a path in economics, statistics or international development. It’s a mighty thing to experience so many clever young people set out on amazing careers.

We also support the Erasmus Internship programme and welcome international interns every year from the University of Salerno who wish to develop their skills as part of their Masters programme.

Learning how to use TradeSift is essential while working at InterAnalysis. We urge our interns and graduates to involve themselves actively in analysis and research we undertake. For some, this may be their first opportunity of sourcing reliable data and fully analysing international trade data. For others, who already have some experience in international trade data, they learn how quick, easy and beneficial TradeSift is in their research work.

Below is an account from a current intern, Giuseppe Castaldo, who wants to share his experience of learning how to use TradeSift, studying through our most recent online course and how quickly he has taken onboard a new ranges of skills.



About Me, Learning TradeSift and the TradeSift Online Course

My name is Giuseppe Castaldo and I am an Italian Economics student. I am taking my Master Degree in Innovation Management in the University of Salerno, Italy. I have always been interested in International Trade Markets but my background in International Trade Policy Analysis has been very poor until my Traineeship experience in InterAnalysis.

Very quickly I realised that the TradeSift software is innovative and an easy way to work with International Data. TradeSift opened my eyes to the many things you can do easily with it.

Before using Tradesift I didn’t know how to analyse trade data or how to carry out calculating import-export structures of a country.

I enrolled in the online course at www.interanalysisacademy.com and I worked through the course modules. The online course contains demonstration videos which are really useful and helped me to quickly understand the functionalities of the software. This “virtual” course gives you the same in terms of skillset as 2-days of being face to face with an expert from the company. At the end of every module there is an exercise to do in order to consolidate your knowledge and your capabilities in using of the software: this is a very interesting and useful approach and I felt like I put into direct practice what I had learnt very quickly.

Each exercise is marked by one of the course teachers. You can continue on to the next module if you like before the exercise is returned to you.  I could also have a direct discussion via mail with the experts about any problems or misunderstanding which I found very helpful. The experts can also help you in carrying out more personal tasks or research if you are interested in that simply by mailing them with a description of what you are struggling with.

At the end of the course and having completed all the Exercises I was awarded my Certificate.


What I Learnt From the Course

Before starting the online course I didn’t know where to go to access international trade data. I learnt about WITS and how to work with the International Data in order to make comparisons between the different Trade structures of my countries of interest or how to find the Top 10 imports or exports produced by a particular country. In TradeSift you can use the different trade indicators like TCI, RCA or FKI (with them you can analyse the revealed compared advantage between more countries or even more, you can benchmark the trade structure of two or more countries and assess how similar or different are they); you can also create charts or tables on who are the Top 10 partners of a specific country or compare the balanced shares of different countries. In addition, if you want to find out the different Tariff Data a country applies to another country you can easily download the Tariff file from WITS and then work with it on TradeSift and compare your chosen country with whatever one you wish.


What I Learnt About My Home Country’s Trading Partners

A very interesting thing is that before attending the online course I had no idea what were the best imports or export of my own country, Italy, I thought that it exported only food (we are famous for good food). I also didn’t know the main countries Italy trades with.

Using TradeSift I could investigate which are the most imported and exported products.


Import Partners

I learnt Italy’s Top 5 partners in a specific year by imported products: Italy trades most with China (first position), Germany, France, Netherlands and Spain.


top 5 italy partners


From this I investigated China’s Top 5 exported products to Italy, TradeSift did this very easily. Italy’s Top 5 imported products from China are: furniture, bedding and mattress; then Italy imports from China toys, games and sport requisites; in third position we found miscellaneous manufactured articles; in fourth position there are arms and ammunition; and the last one is works of art, collectors’ pieces and antiquities. Who would have thought it?! I certainly hadn’t!


secondo grafico

Export Partners

I learnt who Italy’s Top 5 export partners are. As you can see the top ranking countries for Italy’s exports are Germany, followed by France, Spain, USA and UK.

  3 grafico

Imported Products

In terms of Italy’s global trade, below is a graph of the Top 5 imported products sorted by their product code.

As you can see the most imported products of Italy from the World in 2015 are mainly Mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation; in second position we find Nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances and in third position we have Vehicles other than railway or tramway rolling stock.

This is useful analysis because we can work on who are the top trade partners of a country and the top imported or exported products of a country or with the World.

Now we want to calculate what are the top 5 exported products for Italy to the World in 2015. In order to this we have to change the filter on TradeSift and sort the data by Exporting Values. We have the following table:

4 grafico

As you can notice the list of products has changed his order. In the first position now we find Nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery; in second position there are vehicles other than railway other tramway and at the end of the list we find Plastics and articles thereof.

For the total of Italian exports to the World we can see not only that the Trade Balance is clearly positive but also how much is the difference between the value of exports and the value of imports.

We have Exports= 189,655,522.47 £ and Imports= 145,103,022.97 £


My New Skillset

Enrolling in the course and learning TradeSift has:

  • Allowed me to learn a new analytical tool (TradeSift)
  • I have learnt where to access freely available Trade and Tariff data (WITS Bank.org)
  • I have learnt about different trade indicators; RCA, TCI and FKI
  • I have learnt about trade classifications; SITC and HS
  • I can now analyse trade data in an advanced way, quickly and easily


Putting It Into Practise

I am currently working on a project related to Mongolia, and the data needs to be sorted and analysed. Without the TradeSift online course I would not have been able to do this nor would I have imagined being able to help on this type of project.


Learning From Experts

I want to truly thank the team for their willingness and kindness because every time I had a problem or a difficulty with my tasks they always supported me, giving me all I needed to be the analyst I am now.

Maybe you are interested in what the most imported or exported products are for your country. I highly recommend using TradeSift.

My contact details are:

Telephone number: +393488753919

E-mail: giuseppe.castaldo1993@gmail.com