Case study: New York City uses actionable data insights to guide Covid-19 crisis response | City Possible angle-rightlearn more indicatorFill 1link icoFill 1PlayFill 1Fill 1

Case study: New York City uses actionable data insights to guide Covid-19 crisis response

In the face of Covid-19, national, regional and municipal governments have been facing a unique set of circumstances that require new ways to think about how to assess the impact and protect families, communities and businesses that are most at risk, whilst proactively building a foundation to prepare for recovery. The following case study exemplifies one of many ways we’ve worked with cities to help guide program planning and policy development with informed data insights.

The Challenge

The pandemic put enormous financial strain on New York City’s workers and contributed to a substantial slowdown in the city’s economy. As a new member of Mastercard’s City Possible™ initiative, New York City looked to efficiently diagnose the economic health of their community to inform future policy and program development to build a more resilient economy.

A Data-driven Approach

Utilizing anonymized and aggregated transaction data, Mastercard provided near real-time actionable insights to New York City leaders to help them analyze and estimate tax revenue to inform budget planning — critical information during a very dynamic and fluid time.

New York City was used Mastercard Retail Location Insights, a proprietary web-based solution combining intuitive heat-maps and supporting dashboards, to help city leaders gain insight into the city’s sales tax revenue implications and adjust budgets accordingly. Focusing on taxable industries, the percentage change year over year was used in order to approximate the sales tax impact from COVID-19.


Using the above approach, New York City is able to:

  • Diagnose current geographic performance. Evaluate areas of the community most impacted by individual industry sectors all the way down to retail block.
  • Develop a network strategy response. Help inform decisions on which geographic areas and industries to prioritize based on daily, weekly, or monthly spend insights. Understand the implication of new initiatives such as no-contact or delivery service and inform future investments.
  • Identify recovery opportunities and actions. Measure the efficacy of specific policies deployed to address economic impact to inform and optimize response and recovery programs. When NYC transitions to recovery, this data will help target relief and response efforts to specific industries and geographies that need the most support.

If you would like to learn more about how New York City, or other cities, use data and data tools like Mastercard Retail Location Insights or Mastercard City Insights to inform critical city planning decisions, please feel free to reach out to our team.

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