Dashboard of Important Economic Indicators

18 posts / 0 new
Last post
Will's picture
Will
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 27 2008
Posts: 81
Dashboard of Important Economic Indicators

 Most of us who come to this site probably have a set of bookmarks to reliable data, charts, and tables that we constantly refer to as part of our arsenal of awareness of what's going on around us.  Chris and many of the community often post links to various data that provide us with very useful information about the health of our economy and society.  In the Crash Course, Chris used the analogy of a car having warning lights on the dashboard that light up to inform the driver that there may be a serious problem in one or more of the vital systems that are necessary for the car to operate safely and efficiently.  

It has occurred to me that it would be a wonderful to have one website where I could go view a dashboard style web page or application called  "Economic Engine Status Indicators" (or something to that effect) where you could get a quick snapshot of multiple real time and historical data data points like GDP, CPI, Dollar Index, current unemployment rate, Food Stamp Index, yada, yada,  etc.  Each "gauge" could even have warning indicators just like a car that are intended to warn us when something extraordinary is happening within a specific system that requires immediate human attention and analysis (RPM redline, low oil etc. converted to economic gauge equivalents might be cool).  Alternatively, the system warning indicators could be in the form of email and/or text message alert notifications of key data releases like the latest unemployment data, dollar or gold or stock change of X%, etc. 

Does anyone know if such a centralized source of many important economic indicators exists all in one web site?   It seems crazy to me that we are all spending so much time in this Internet age navigating to numerous web sites to access reliable economic data we deem important to base our decision making on.

I know if I were going to design a web site dashboard application of important economic data indicators and charts, I would want it to be robust with a wide array of useful and reliably sourced data points, but flexible so that the user could select the "guages" that are important to them to display on their personal dashboard(s).  There could also be several default displays that one could select to compliment our personal custom dashboard view(s).  The possibilities seem endless and exciting to have so much useful data accessible in one application or web page that can be custom configured to the users needs and tastes for data information.

I hope to hear back from someone that something like this already exists, because I'd like to start using it IMMEDIATELY (I'd love an iPhone app like it).  If it doesn't exist, I want it so bad that I would be willing to cooperatively work with any of you to try to design such a web portal or iPhone/smartphone application,  I happen to have a few years experience in product management for a successful financial services web enterprise, so I've naturally got a rough draft of the business logic requirements for such a dashboard application already forming in my head if nothing like it yet exists...

Referrals, thoughts or comments anyone?

investorzzo's picture
investorzzo
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 7 2008
Posts: 1182
Re: Dashboard of Important Economic Indicators

http://www.financialsense.com/

Will's picture
Will
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 27 2008
Posts: 81
Re: Dashboard of Important Economic Indicators

 Thanks investorzz, FS is one of my primary text based info portals and I know it provides plenty of great articles that refer to various technical charts on the market/dollar/gold/etc,.  I'm looking for something that is more raw data and chart driven similar to a car dashboard.  The car dashboard doesn't give us text based analysis, but rather displays us simple raw data and occasionally critical emergency signals.  I want a visual economic dashboard like a car that I can quickly glance at to see how fast we are going, how much energy we are currently consuming, energy reserves remaining, etc..  The economic gauges could be custom configurable to display any number of popular or obscure data points that would provide us with raw data at a glance and inform us if our economic situation is stable or not, Of course, we know that such a dashboard if it existed right now would be flashing warning signals all over the place if you had certain important economic indicator gauges selected for your personal dashboard view.  It's possible that some of the usefulness of such a dashboard has passed us by in the current unfolding crisis, but it sounds like a great tool to have in place to help monitor serious imbalances in the future BEFORE they get out of control and cause another damn meltdown like we're having right now...

I guess the closest example of what I am thinking about is "the mother of all debt clocks" that I think Davos posted in the daily digest or was in a forum topic recently.  It is all graphical based and something kind of how I envision.  I'll see if I can find the link and post it as an example.  It just occurred to me that if I had a custom dashboard, I would almost certainly want to have at least one high level gauge related to "Debt" on my main dashboard view that provides a link to a more detailed group of debt gauges much like you see on the mother of all debt clocks.

Will's picture
Will
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 27 2008
Posts: 81
Re: Dashboard of Important Economic Indicators

 Here is the link I referred to in the previous post to the mother of all debt clocks-- the best example I can provide of the graphical nature of the much larger and more comprehensive dashboard I wish for:

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

 

LogansRun's picture
LogansRun
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 18 2009
Posts: 1443
Re: Dashboard of Important Economic Indicators

Great idea, just don't know of one.  Finding the data isn't hard although can be time consuming.  But KNOWING what the data means in relation to other data and where on a "Red/Yellow/Green or 1-10 scale of urgency" would be very nice to have.  Lot's of "nice to have's" out there....just don't know where.  Hope someone can come up with something.

Thanks for the suggestion.

kemosavvy's picture
kemosavvy
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 13 2008
Posts: 254
Re: Dashboard of Important Economic Indicators

I think the first day you launched your 'dashboard' it would trigger every alarm and siren on it. What I mean is that significant indicators such as the debt-to-gdp ratio are already at alarmingly high levels. Unemployment (not from the BLS but from shadowstats) has unemployment at nearly 16%. National debt levels are historically high and have been for decades.

My point is that the signs are already here that we are on a pace that is unsustainable, what do you hope to gain from this dashboard? Is it more of a marketing tool that you can email your friends and family to give them fair warning? I can assure you that a dashboard on a website will not do the trick, nor will gas at $4.50, nor will a 40% drop in the dow. they'll all have to realize the importance of knowledge on their own, you cannot do it for them.

My tone is not meant to be critical, not at all, your question is a good one, it's meant to question the reason why you would want a dashboard. would something occur on the dashboard that would make you say, 'honey, it's time to order those mylar bags and start stockpiling the grains' because I just ordered some mylar bags recently based on the info that is already out there.

Steve

kemosavvy's picture
kemosavvy
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 13 2008
Posts: 254
Re: Dashboard of Important Economic Indicators

another quick note that I recall an mentor of mine saying, "over-analysis leads to paralysis", what he meant by that was that I was spending too much time analyzing the situation for the perfect answer that I was getting caught up in the details. his suggestion was that you don't need the 'perfect answer' you just need 'an answer', if you work hard enough the end game will be the same regardless.

how i'll tie this into your question is that your dashboard is an overanalyzing tool. For instance, that debt clock is extraordinarily complex and you can become lost in the details, but it yields no true answers on where your world is headed... but it is very cool looking.

Steve

investorzzo's picture
investorzzo
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 7 2008
Posts: 1182
Re: Dashboard of Important Economic Indicators

Try this one.  http://stockcharts.com/

Make sure you really check out the site, as there are many deep pockets of info here. Including analysis of various charts and companies and indexes to view. Example free charts.

cannotaffordit's picture
cannotaffordit
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 12 2008
Posts: 273
Re: Dashboard of Important Economic Indicators

 Will, I think your idea is a fantastic one, although I have no clue as to how to get accurate data for it - certainly not from government stats.  Nor would I have a clue as to how to set it up.  

But, I too am buried in trying to read so many different authors on so many different websites.  The vast info of "facts" and opinions really can be debilitating and cause one to become almost paralyzed, in knowing what to do.  One of my fears is that we are too highly influenced by highly charismatic folks, who have agendas that are not necessarily in the best interest of this nation.  So, many Americans don't really know who to trust anymore.  I truly believe this may be one reason that ordinary Americans are just trying to tune out what's really going on today.  When I drive around, I see folks going about their lives, seemingly with some belief, or hope, that things will somehow straighten out and their lives can continue as they are now.  No one seems to be able to analyze ALL the different data sufficiently, or at least no one who has any authority to speak truth about it.  CM is one of the very few whom I feel I can really trust, and truthfully sometimes I get bogged down in all the graphs, detailed explanations, etc. because I don't know exactly where those things will ultimately lead.  And it is obvious that our government is fully under the control of those who have a vested interest in swaying us in the direction they want us to go, to keep things good for them, and their wealthy/elite cohorts.

I hope you will pursue your idea.  It appears that you would be the logical one to do it, along with whatever other help you think you might need.

The American people, IMHO, are too heavily influenced by mainstream media.  They need something clean, clear and alarming data, which directly point to specific outcomes, to give them a "flashing lights" wake-up call.

investorzzo's picture
investorzzo
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 7 2008
Posts: 1182
Re: Dashboard of Important Economic Indicators

Besides yahoo finance, here is one that encompasses much data.

http://online.wsj.com/mdc/page/marketsdata.html

Will's picture
Will
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 27 2008
Posts: 81
Re: Dashboard of Important Economic Indicators

 Thanks all for the replies so far everyone.  My desire for such a tool is motivated by the following priorities:

1)  I want a one stop shop tool where I can go to look at all current and historical data relevant to the health of our national and/or global economy.  A consolidated data source that makes it more efficient for myself and anyone else to view and analyze important data points that might help inform our decisions to prepare (or not to prepare).  It could also be used as a quick reference to validate numbers quoted in articles and news reports.  And yes, the warning indicators on such a dashboard would be going off all over the place right now, but it could also be useful to inform us if things eventually start to stabilize in certain areas in the future.

2)  I want something like you would expect our business and political leaders should have access to.  If I'm the President, a member of his cabinet, etc, I want a dashboard like this so I can easily access and monitor all the important data relevant to the health of our economy.  Do you think our political leaders use something like this already?  And if they do, does their dashboard display the fuzzy numbers, or the real numbers?  I would assume that most of them know what the real numbers are even if they are reporting the fuzzy numbers to the public/media.  Also, do you think our business leaders pay attention to the fuzzy numbers from the government, or do they have their own data and/or dashboard that displays the true numbers adjusted to reality?

3)  I thought it might be a useful tool to share with folks who are unaware of the seriousness of our situation to see the equivalent of a car like dashboard with warning indicators lit up all over the place for key gauges.  Kemosavvy commented that this probably wouldn't help those people, particularly if they don't understand what the data means and how it's all interconnected-- and he may be right.  This was 3rd priority for wanting such a tool, but my priority is to have such a tool available to myself and other like minded folks.

I understand Kemosavvy's point that there is potential for over analysis and paralysis having this much data/charts at your fingertips.  It would be interesting to see what Chris thinks of the idea, as his main focus is scientifically analyzing the data to see what it tells you, not just accepting what the government, economists, MSM, bloggers and other myriad"experts" tell us via their often unscientific, partisan, and narrowly focused analysis and commentary.

Time now to go check out the links referenced so far.  Thanks!

r101958's picture
r101958
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 24 2008
Posts: 257
Re: Dashboard of Important Economic Indicators

http://www.shadowstats.com/

Will's picture
Will
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 27 2008
Posts: 81
Re: Dashboard of Important Economic Indicators

 Thanks investorzzo!  I like the WSJ portal-- very much like what I am looking for and will achieve my #1 priority of being able to find most of the data I need all in one place and in a good visual design layout.  Yahoo finance has much of the same info, but I like the user interface on the WSJ much better.  I might try a subscription, as I see that you can do some customization of the data display if you are a subscriber.

I really didn't want to build something like this, as I know from professional experience how much manpower and expertise is required to build an real time application like this with data feeds, databases, application logic, middle tier, yada, yada...

When you land on the the WSJ "Market Data Home" page, you get a good high level overview at the top of the page.  You can then scroll down the page and see more overview snapshots of various categories.  If you want to drill down into more specific data, you can do so from the tabs at the top of the page or via the links embedded in the category overviews near the top of each page.  I was also glad to see it provides some good data under "Calendars and Economy" that include many useful tables and charts for unemployment, housing starts, housing index, manufacturing index, Fed monitor etc., etc, as well as the calendar of upcoming economic reports due for release.

As I get more familiar with the data provided by the WSJ I'll be able to determine if there are any other important areas that might require some supplementation by other website data not provided by the WSJ.

If any one has any other recommendations, keep them coming.  Hopefully others will benefit by sharing their data sources so that we can all have the opportunity to spend less time looking up data and more time analyzing and making required preparations.

Time to put this all on hold for a few hours.  It's a beautiful weekend here in Seattle and it's time to get outside and attend a BBQ and enjoy some good food, drink and non-economic and humorous conversations with friends.  

Have a great holiday weekend everyone, and please take a sincere moment tomorrow to honor the sacrifice that our military veterans laid upon the altar of freedom and reaffirm our resolve to fight for continued liberty in this country to ensure that their enormous sacrifice was not in vain.  It saddens me deeply to think of all the lives lost in the fight for freedom and to see that precious prize slowly slipping away due to ignorance, apathy, complacency, greed, etc....

Will's picture
Will
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 27 2008
Posts: 81
Re: Dashboard of Important Economic Indicators

 

Thanks r101598.  ShadowStats is one of my existing references and a great one that I'll continue to use I'm sure.

redinr08's picture
redinr08
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 21 2008
Posts: 19
Re: Dashboard of Important Economic Indicators

Some charts compiled by Chris Martenson can be found on the fourth tab of this website "Stay Current" and the fourth topic "Money & Markets".

tx_floods's picture
tx_floods
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 28 2009
Posts: 155
How much time daily do you spend reading?

I have a question, and this seems as likely a spot to tie-in as any:

How much time do you spend daily reading, including CM? I have had similar thoughts as kemosavvy noted above. I can only spend so much time gathering information. At some point, for the information to be any good, I have to actually perform action on that infromation, or I could spend all enternity, just gathering up information from an infinite number of sources. At what point, daily, do you say, enough for one day. I've got to go _________.

Will's picture
Will
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 27 2008
Posts: 81
Re: How much time daily do you spend reading?
tx_floods wrote:

I have a question, and this seems as likely a spot to tie-in as any:

How much time do you spend daily reading, including CM? I have had similar thoughts as kemosavvy noted above. I can only spend so much time gathering information. At some point, for the information to be any good, I have to actually perform action on that infromation, or I could spend all enternity, just gathering up information from an infinite number of sources. At what point, daily, do you say, enough for one day. I've got to go _________.

 

I spend about 90 minutes on average each day reading up on ALL news, economic and general, local and global.  I do not consider that excessive by any means, and I am seeking to make it even less by improving the efficiency of my reliable information sources (Chris Martenson being #1 on my list, who does most of the hard data mining work for us/me, which is part of the reason I don't spend more time reading up on the news--  I've got a much smarter, more rational, more scientific, less partisan information agent on the payroll doing most of the work for me).

Part of the reason for my request is that I'm tired of reading all the analysis that is starting to repeat itself about how bad things are and I'm frankly growing a bit tired of it.  I have learned enough at this point that I need less articles and analysis and more pure, raw data.  At this moment in time, some of the economic gauges that would be on my first level dashboard would be the dollar index, treasury auction yields, PM indexes, Stock Indexes, unemployment trends, and the Case-Schiller median existing home price index to name few.  These tell me much of what anyone needs to know at this point about whether things are improving or deteriorating and at what velocity.

It suddenly occurs to me that the person who could benefit the most by a consolidated, reliable economic data engine would be none other than Chris Martenson himself.  Such a consolidated tool would allow him to spend less time looking up data and more time analyzing and informing us all of his assessments of the data.  When I think of it that way, I don't want this tool for me, I want it for Chris and other like mined people so that they can more efficiently help us/me understand what it all might be indicating is in store for us in the future... 

Wyatt09's picture
Wyatt09
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: May 25 2009
Posts: 1
Re: Dashboard of Important Economic Indicators

In this kind of economic situation it gives additional burden to everyone. Especially today that most company closes and had a layoffs.






You ever thought about a career doing public speaking?  Public speaking is a big industry, and some speakers make quite a living going around and delivering their message to groups like high school students, corporate events, and so on.  Granted, some people would also give installment loans to never hear another word about personal bubbles, sensitivity, and one more pretentious and inane corporate culture seminar might incite them to riot. It isn't easy to break into, so you'll have to network, even with no fax machine, and you'll have to have to start public speaking to practice, and have a hook.  If you're boring, you'll need debt consolidation from being fired from public speaking.

 

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or Register to post comments