Due to the novel Coronavirus, the ability to form a holistic view of economic development has grown in importance. As many official statistics are updated with a delay, the need for real-time data is imminent. To tackle this, we have published a new website with five pulses that monitor the economy.
At the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak, Finland’s AI experts joined forces to help with the various challenges emerging from the crisis. As a first public initiative we are now launching an online dashboard that compiles real-time economic and financial data. The goal is to utilize several data sources and thereby help decision makers and companies to better understand their own current situation.
“Right now we are focused on building the dashboard which includes gathering and visualizing real-time data sources. After this, we will start working on solutions related to economic modeling and forecasting,” says Alexander Törnroth, Lead at Finland’s AI accelerator.
“Various projects, such as the Helsinki Graduate School of Economics’ Tilannehuone and Talouskriisi.fi, have done great work in sharing reports and information. We are now adding real-time data to the mix enabling efficient nowcasting of the economy. By providing access to this kind of data we hope to reduce uncertainty, improve awareness as well as predictability of the near future. It is important to get Finland up and running and to encourage companies to invest,” Törnroth stresses.
At the moment the dashboard offers five tools:
– News Pulse collects news about companies from the Finnish media and groups them into financial risk categories (e.g. mention of co-operation negotiations or bankruptcy). News Pulse allows news collection to be viewed by industry and thus improves visibility into industry-specific trends.
– SME Pulse follows the development of invoicing, trade receivables and accounts payable, as well as payment periods at SME companies.
–Unemployment Pulse evaluates the current state of unemployment based on Google searches related to unemployment.
–Market Pulse monitors the industry-specific development of the Helsinki Stock Exchange and compares it with historical volatility.
– Cyclical Pulse tracks the cyclical index of Finnish production by monitoring traffic volumes.
The site does not analyze the figures and graphs it provides, but rather offers these tools to support decision-making, with the goal of complementing other sources of information.
“The data offered on our website is most useful when combined with, for example, the information available from your own company. Our goal is to open up as many different sources of information as possible, and we are also happy to take on new sources of data for the group to leverage. It’s great to see that many companies have taken up this challenge and made their data available for the website,” Törnroth says.
The AI task force is formed by individual artificial intelligence researchers, software developers, academics and a number of top experts from the artificial intelligence company Silo.AI. More partners are joining the AI task force in near future.
The website is available at pulse.faia.fi
At the moment the website is offered in Finnish, but an English version is coming out soon.