Snowflake customer, Merkle Inc., has created a new set of COVID-19 interactive dashboards for businesses to use for free to determine which counties in the U.S. will most likely experience an economic recovery first.

As economies reopen, states hit hardest by COVID-19, or states that relax social distancing measures sooner rather than later, will not reveal local market opportunities as they emerge. By using these dashboards, businesses can focus on which counties will most likely start spending once social distancing measures ease in a community. By doing so, they can tailor their plans to reopen for business first in those areas and later in other counties.

Merkle is a global performance marketing agency based in Columbia, Maryland and is a Snowflake customer. Its COVID-19 Market Impact Dashboards represent a combination of the epidemiological data set from Starschema, which is publicly available on Snowflake Data Marketplace. The data is constantly updated and details the spread and control of the deadly virus by county. Merkle’s dashboards also represent liquid assets per capita in those local areas. By joining these data sets, Merkle’s dashboards help businesses determine:

  • How resilient are the markets where a businesses’ customers reside?
  • Which local communities are most likely to resume spending first?
  • Which physical store locations in these areas a business should reopen sooner or later?

Merkle is using Snowflake’s Cloud Data Platform to store, unify, and analyze the data powering these dashboards. In addition, all Snowflake customers have access to Snowflake Data Marketplace. Therefore, Merkle was able to quickly access analytics-ready Johns Hopkins University Covid-19 data shared on the  data marketplace by Snowflake partner Starschema. Merkle then joined the data sets quickly with its proprietary product, DataSource, which is built on Snowflake. 

Snowflake Data Marketplace enables organizations to instantly access and share live, governed third-party data sets with first-party data. This has enabled Merkle to avoid the cost, headache, and risk of traditional data sharing methods that require copying and moving stale data, while delivering near real-time insights of the Covid-19 impact to its customers.

“Our goal is to help marketers use a data-driven approach to plan their rebound from the pandemic. Snowflake provided us the ability to integrate DataSource, Merkle’s proprietary datasets, with COVID-19 case data to understand the county-level impact of the crisis,” Merkle’s Chief Operating Officer, Shirli Zelcer said. “The dashboards allow marketers to visualize each community’s Economic Resilience Index (ERI), which is the liquidity of assets per capita against the percent of COVID-19 cases per county. With these insights, marketers can understand which communities will recover more quickly and where marketing investments should be prioritized.” 

Economic resilience based on regional income levels



Economic resilience by county


For example, some counties have a mid-to-high average discretionary spend and experienced little-to-no impact from the COVID-19. These circumstances would indicate that these local areas could likely start spending before other areas. The opposite would be true if average discretionary spend was lower and the impact of COVID-19 was higher. On the flip side, greater wealth alone is not an indicator of resilience. Wealthier counties in the U.S. that have been hit hardest by COVID-19 will likely be slower to recover. The dashboards are available free of charge here.