- Tokyo the most expensive, closely followed by HK, Sydney and Singapore
- But delving deeper into the data reveals that all is not how it may seem
QLIK Technologies said it has developed a new web-based app for consumers that allows them to quickly and easily compare the cost of living across eight key cities in Asia Pacific: Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore (pic above), Sydney and Tokyo.
Built on Qlik Sense, the Qlik APAC Cost of Living app uses embedded visual analytics to enable users to uncover insights into the cost of living across different cities in the region, the company said in a statement.
The app incorporates a broad cross-section of goods, such as property, transport, education, entertainment, utilities, food, restaurants and clothing, in addition to allowing users to select ‘Budget’, ‘Mid-range’ or ‘Expensive’ across any cost category.
“With the constant fluctuations in Asian economies and changing consumer price indices (CPIs), getting to grips with the cost of maintaining a certain standard of living before you move somewhere can be difficult,” said Qlik’s Asia Pacific regional vice president Phillip Beniac (pic).
“The Qlik APAC Cost of Living app takes the pain out of the process by using visual analytics to compare the average cost of living in various cities.
“Easy to assimilate visual representations enable expatriates, as well as local residents, to compare selected APAC cities side by side, and drill into the data to find out how their city of choice stacks up against the rest,” he added.
Tokyo most expensive, Singapore close behind
Tokyo takes the overall title as the most expensive city, with costs 39% higher than the Asia Pacific average, while Singapore is only 22% above average.
However, delving deeper into the data reveals that all is not how it may seem, Qlik said in its statement.
For example, those who are planning a trip to Shanghai will find that it is the most expensive city to sample the street food, yet is the cheapest when it comes to cognac and imported beer.
In terms of booking budget accommodation, a 1-star hotel in Sydney is 56% more expensive (than Shanghai, or the Asia Pacific average), while Kuala Lumpur offers the cheapest rates across the region.
“… cost of living standards can often be misunderstood unless people have access to a good level of detailed information that informs them what it will cost to live their particular lifestyle,” said Professor Wong Poh Kam of the National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School.
“For example, not everyone wants or needs to own a car, which can be a particularly expensive proposition in some Asia Pacific cities, especially Singapore and Tokyo, where the public transport network is already extensive,” he added. [Click infographic below to enlarge]
Deeper insights with visual analytics
Using heat maps, the Qlik APAC Cost of Living app instantly illustrates how the prices of individual items in various countries differ from the Asia Pacific average, with red highlighting the costliest and blue denoting the least expensive.
A ‘Highs and Lows’ page enables users to track prices of particular items – from alcohol and entertainment to clothing and household essentials – across the region, and literally watch the colours change.
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