10 Data Sources to Inform Your Strategic Planning During the COVID-19 Crisis

Predicting the future is never easy. Unprecendented global economic turmoil doesn’t make it any easier. Luckily, good strategic plans do not require an accurate picture of the world economy in 3 months or a year. 

They do, however, require an accurate assessment of where the current market’s strengths and weaknesses lie and an understanding of potential scenarios and how they may effect your bottom-line. 

As many businesses begin to think about their strategic positioning  in the next half of 2020, we’ve compiled some of the most authoritative data sources on business activity and economic health to help inform your strategic planning. 

US Data Sources

Mapping the Reopening: Washington Post

For US businesses working through strategic planning, understanding when certain businesses can reopen is critical. This map gives up-to-date state-by-state breakdowns of timelines for reopenings and guidelines according to state and local leaders. Understanding your area’s reopening timeline may help illuminate opportunities and set targets for what’s posible in the coming month or quarter. 


St. Louis Fed Economic Research: COVID-19 Economic Data Tracking 

This realtime dashboard includes the latest data from the Federal Reserve including unemployment, consumer, and business data. 

St Louis Fed Dashboard

Harvard University Opportunity Insights Economic Tracker

This project from Havard Economist Raj Chetty charts consumer and industry data on national, state, county and metro levels. Other metrics include Small Business revenue and openings, low vs high income spending, COVID cases and testing, and Time spent outside. 

Harvard Economic projections

Global Data Sources

Deloitte COVID-19 Economic Information Center

Deloitte’s global health and economic dashboard provides case, economic, travel, and financial data on national and regional levels. Economic indicators include employment levels, retail sales volume, and manufacturing turnover. 

deloitte australian indicators

Australian Economic Indicators from Deloitte

 YPO Global CEO Survey

This survey of 2,750 CEOs gives an overview of how business leaders expect the COVID crisis to impact their business. It also gives a look at how CEOs are already adapting their teams to changes in economic outlook. While some of the data in the survey may be outdated (the survey closed in mid-March), the trends and predictions may still be helpful for B2B enterprises setting strategy. 

Ignite chart

International Monetary Fund Global Economic Outlook: The Great Lockdown

The IMF’s revised economic predictions include projections for GDP, consumer pricing, and unemployment on a country level as well as impacts on global commodity prices trade, and output. 

IMF commodities impact

Source: IMF staff calculations

OECD Economic Outlook, Interim Report: World Economy at Risk

The OECD released revised economic forecasts for 2020 at the begining of April. The full report details projections for each country as well as potential impacts on supply chain, Chinese production, and financial volatility.  

OECD growth projections


Center For Global Development Economic Impact 

This dashboard includes latest data and headlines on the Global economic impact with an eye towards Latin and South America, Africa, and Asia. Updates are divided into sections for growth and income analysis, sector and sub-population analysis, economic policy responses, and commentary. 

European Data Sources

Eurostat: COVID-19 and the Economy

Eurostat compiles latest reports on economic indicators, retail trade, and industrial producer pricing. 

The Data Sources in Your Backyard

At the end of the day, macro indicators will only go so far to predict the health of your market over the coming quarters. The best information to incorporate during planning will come from conversations with suppliers, customers, front-line employees, and other stakeholders. Understanding your market will rely on first-hand data gathering and sentiment analysis. Creating the perfect plan during a time like this is not about predictive accuracy, but the ability to react to new information as it arises. Heading into planning with even a partial picture of what’s to come is just the first step. 

For more resources on the impact of COVID-19 on businesses and their strategic planning, subscribe to our weekly curated newsletter.  


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