The rivalry between Japan and South Korea has been well documented and while living in South Korea I saw this first hand. In the spirit of competition, I wonder which Ramen is preferred by consumers? In this blog post, I show something of how I found the answer while exploring a Kaggle data set of Ramen ratings using Octave.

Sourcing The Data

I began my operation by finding a suitable data set. I went to Kaggle (my favourite) and found the Ramen Ratings data set which contains hundreds of up to date real-world data points describing how people feel about Ramen from certain countries including South Korea and Japan.

Visualizing The Data

After doing this, I migrated and visualized 35 random ratings of South Korean Ramen brands (including Samyang Food and Nongshim) on a colour map using Octave.  I did the same with 35 random ratings of Japanese Ramen brands.

South Korean Ramen Ratings

Japanese Ramen Ratings

Searching For Insights

The rating system used in the data set varied between 0 and 5, with 5 being the best and 0 being the worst. So if a particular Ramen brand earned a 3, this meant that the individual rating this Ramen thought it to be not the best and not the worst, but average. These number ratings are represented by colour with 0 as dark purple and 5 as yellow. Therefore the colour map with the most number of yellow or orange squares and the least number of purple or blue squares represents the country whose Ramen was, on average, rated higher.


As you can see above, it appears as though South Korean Ramen won the competition. I make this conclusion after a quick glance at both colour maps. This analysis shows the power of images in making sense of data.

It is worth noting that more investigation is needed to ensure the best results.

* Since technology is continually developing, by the time you read this blog the products used may have changed.