In turbulent Covid-19 times, we experience shocks that have an immediate impact on the financial situation of economic actors. Tracking these changes with accounting data, monthly surveys or quarterly macro-economic data leads to numbers that are neither timely nor accurate: they are not detailed enough and published with a release lag. The solution is a digital platform called Belgian Economy Today. The platform aggregates, distributes and visualizes in an automated and structured way the high-frequency information embedded in the corporate and governmental big data sets registering electronic payments, electricity consumption, mobility, savings behaviour and the media reporting about the economy.
Our Belgian Economy Today platform provides three types of functionality. First, it is a data aggregation and distribution hub. It aggregates from the various sources the relevant data and makes them available in a convenient data format for further economic analysis.
Second, it is a visual analytics platform that lets users dynamically discover how the current data deviates from its behavior in normal times. Third, it is a communication platform where economic analysts can exchange their data and discuss their model results and interpretations. For each functionality, we develop the data science techniques and the end-user tool to make the platform adequate and timely for analysing the Belgian economy.