Beginner's guide to Alphacast

Alphacast is an integrated platform for economic and financial analysis. Think GitHub, but for economy and finance.

There are many things you and your team can do with Alphacast. Download and create data, integrate with R or Python, Power-bi or Tableau, create interactive charts, maps, insights, or full auto-updated presentations.

In this guide, we will guide you through the basics of Alphacast, follow the links for more in-depth information

Alphacast in 5 minutes

Downloading your first dataset

Let's start by finding some data you need, say, for example. Argentina's Consumer Price Index.

  1. Go to Search at the top left of your screen
  2. Start typing "Inflation Argentina" and select "Inflation - Argentina - INDEC - Consumer Price Index - Groups - Monthly"
  3. Click Filter variables on the top right and then "Nivel General" followed by the transformation "Year over Year". You should be logged in to do this.
  4. Click Download on the top right and select either CSV o XLSX, and whether you want a transposed version of the data.
  5. That's it. The Browser will start downloading your dataset


Creating your first chart

Now let's create your first chart. To create a chart with data from a dataset you need to "Watch" its repository first.

  • If you are still on the dataset "Inflation - Argentina - INDEC - Consumer Price Index - Groups - Monthly" then click on Published by Alphacast in Argentina - INDEC to go to that repository
  • If you are not, then click on Repositories on the left menu and then search for "Argentina - INDEC"
  • On the top right click Watch. This repository will now show up on the left menu under My Repositories.
  • Head now to "My Public Repo". That is, well, your public repo. What you put in that repo will be visible to anyone.
  • Click the button New Chart on the top right. You will be redirected to the Chart Editor
  • Click Add Variables and then choose the repository "Argentina - INDEC". Only your repositories and those you are watching will be there.
  • "Argentina - INDEC" has many datasets. Start writing "Inflation - Argentina - INDEC - Consumer Price Index" keep writing "current_prices_yoy" to select that transformation.
  • Choose the variables you like to chart and then click Set Variables.
  • There are many customization options, but let's publish the chart as it is. Select "My public" in "Select Repository for Chart" and then click Publish.
  • That's it! You have just created your first chart. You can access it with its link (click on the title of the chart) or on the chart list in the left menu.


Writing your first insights

Let's use your recently created chart to write your first insight!

  • If you are still seeing your chart copy the full "URL" at the top of your browser or you can click on Charts in the list on the left. We will use that to embed your chart on the insights.
  • Go back to your repo in Alphacast home and click again on "My Public Repo"
  • Click "New Insight" on the top right of the screen. The insights editor will show up with a basic template. Delete everything for a fresh start.
  • Start writing. Use # for headers. Write "# This is my first insight"
  • To embed your chart you have to use the @ command "chart" followed by the URL of your chart. Write the following command without space between @ and chart


VOILA! Your chart is now embedded. To publish your insights click Publish on the top right, pick "My Public Repo" and publish again. That's it!

What's next?

Luciano Cohan

Written by

Luciano Cohan

Co-Fundador de Alphacast. Ex Subsecretario de Programación Macroeconómica. Data Science. Creando una plataforma para el trabajo colaborativo en economías

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