The first step is to locate the data sets and decide what my measures will be. If I want to explore the possible correlations between environmental degradation and social degradation, for example, first I must decide how those things are measured.
Are carbon emissions an accurate measure of environmental degradation? What about forestry use? What criteria will I use? How will I display my data?
So, I must decide on the measures, look for relevant data, and find a tool to display that data, not necessarily in that order.