By |Published On: May 29th, 2020|Categories: Tool Updates, Investor Education, Macroeconomics Research|

Our friend Jonathan Regenstein, over at, convinced me that using R would be a great way to build web applications that would help us fulfill our mission to empower investors through education. We are very thankful that Jonathan shared his knowledge with us because we have been burning a lot of midnight oil building various applications.

Most of our applications are related to finance and investing, which have a higher degree of compliance and thus restricted access. However, in collaboration with Jonathan, we built a pretty nifty tool that allows users to visualize all the unemployment claims data across the nation and by state. The application is open access and doesn’t require a login.

Here’s the link:

The tool is a work in progress and if you have suggestions, please us know — we can add additional visualizations.

Here are the current capabilities:

  • Visualize worst/best week by nation/state
  • Visualize monthly claims by nation/state
  • Visualize Covid Crisis vs. 2008 Financial Crisis by nation/state

Here is a screenshot of the application.


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About the Author: Wesley Gray, PhD

Wesley Gray, PhD
After serving as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps, Dr. Gray earned an MBA and a PhD in finance from the University of Chicago where he studied under Nobel Prize Winner Eugene Fama. Next, Wes took an academic job in his wife’s hometown of Philadelphia and worked as a finance professor at Drexel University. Dr. Gray’s interest in bridging the research gap between academia and industry led him to found Alpha Architect, an asset management firm dedicated to an impact mission of empowering investors through education. He is a contributor to multiple industry publications and regularly speaks to professional investor groups across the country. Wes has published multiple academic papers and four books, including Embedded (Naval Institute Press, 2009), Quantitative Value (Wiley, 2012), DIY Financial Advisor (Wiley, 2015), and Quantitative Momentum (Wiley, 2016). Dr. Gray currently resides in Palmas Del Mar Puerto Rico with his wife and three children. He recently finished the Leadville 100 ultramarathon race and promises to make better life decisions in the future.

Important Disclosures

For informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as specific investment, accounting, legal, or tax advice. Certain information is deemed to be reliable, but its accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. Third party information may become outdated or otherwise superseded without notice.  Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) nor any other federal or state agency has approved, determined the accuracy, or confirmed the adequacy of this article.

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Alpha Architect, its affiliates or its employees. Our full disclosures are available here. Definitions of common statistics used in our analysis are available here (towards the bottom).

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