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Business Activity Trends

Business Activity Trends help quantify how businesses are affected by crisis events around the world such as natural disasters and disease outbreaks. In the COVID-19 context, these trends can be used by economists and other researchers to understand the rate at which businesses remain open or have closed in response to stay at home orders or lockdowns.

Photo by Brooke Cagle/Unsplash

Features

Business Page data

This dataset provides two daily metrics for the businesses inside a crisis-affected region. First, it provides the aggregate number of public posts on Facebook Business Pages compared to pre-crisis activity levels. Second, it provides the aggregate number of people who are visiting businesses in-person also compared to pre-crisis levels. Together, these metrics help quantify how businesses are affected by crisis events across the world such as disease outbreaks or natural disasters.

Research Collaboration

Business Activity Trends were developed in collaboration with Robert Eyre, Flavia De Luca and Filippo Simini from the University of Bristol based on their method to measure recovery of small businesses after natural hazard events.

Privacy

Only scaled values of business page post counts and visits are contained in this dataset and all data is aggregated.

Determining whether small and medium businesses are open is very important to assess the recovery after events like mandatory stay-at-home orders, said Dr. Flavia De Luca, Senior Lecturer in Structural and Earthquake Engineering at the University of Bristol. “the traditional way of collecting this information, such as surveys and interviews, are usually costly, time consuming, and do not scale. By using real time information from public Facebook posts, we hope to make it easier for public institutions to better respond to these events.”

Dr. Flavia De Luca FHEA, CAME School PGR Director, Senior Lecturer in Structural and Earthquake Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Bristol

Who Uses Business Activity Trends

Universities and researchers

Researchers can analyze the downtime of business sectors in near real-time without the need for natural language processing or computationally intensive methods.

Non-profits

When responding to a crisis, organizations can analyze the time series of business activity before and after an event. This provides a reliable method to quantify the rate of recovery or continued disruption after an emergency and can be compared across business sectors. Organizations then can better decide how to distribute resources in collaboration with local governments.

Methodology

This data set was developed in collaboration with Robert Eyre, Flavia De Luca and Filippo Simini from the University of Bristol based on their method to measure recovery of small businesses after natural hazard events in this Nature publication.

Read about the methodology in the Nature publication

Contact Us

If you have any questions or if you would like to request access to this data, please email disastermaps@fb.com.

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