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May 11, 2020

Dashboard Tracks Economic Impact of COVID-19

Alex Woodie

There has been no shortage of dashboards for tracking the spread of the novel coronavirus. Now, thanks to a partnership between Womply and Harvard University, we have a dashboard that tracks the economic impact of COVID-19 and the lockdown that governments have instituted to fight its spread.

Last week, CRM and marketing software developer Womply unveiled the new dashboard, called the Opportunity Insights (OI) Economic Tracker, which is based on billions of data points that “present a daily picture of economic activity,” the company says.

The dashboard displays a range of metrics that demonstrate the economic impact of COVID-19 and the shutdown of businesses. For instance, users can visualize the decline in consumer spending (via credit card data) at the state, county, and select metropolitan areas, or drill down and view aggregated data for categories like unemployment, the number of hours worked at small businesses, and job postings. The data can be sliced by sector (such as education/health services or leisure/hospitality), and compared against state and national averages when drilled in at the county or city level.

Womply has been collecting, aggregating, and sharing this type of Main Street economic data for years, and the COVID-19 pandemic provided a good opportunity to showcase its talents for the greater good, says Womply Founder and CEO Toby Scammell.

“Amid unprecedented uncertainty, it’s vital that policy makers and the public have accurate data to make decisions,” Scammell says in a press release. “In this time of crisis, we believe companies like ours have a civic duty to make our insights freely available to government, non-profits, and academic institutions.”

Source: OI Economic Tracker

Womply created the dashboard in partnership with Opportunity Insights, which is a non-profit organization based at Harvard University that’s dedicated to using big data for the public good. The San Francisco company also provides a data dashboard for more in-depth, data-driven analysis of the economic impact of COVID-19 on specific types of business, such as bars, gun stores, and parking lots.

Womply says the tracker is designed to meet the immediate needs of policymakers at the federal, state, and local levels. “Until now, elected officials have relied on survey-based data and government statistics with a lag time of up to several weeks,” the company says. “Although very valuable, these traditional metrics have shortcomings in assessing immediate economic shocks, like that resulting from COVID-19, when live information at a granular level is critical for shaping appropriate responses.”

To view the OI Economic Tracker, go to tracker.opportunityinsights.org.

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