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A wavelet-based index of storm activity (WISA) has been recently developed [Jach, A., Kokoszka, P., Sojka, L., Zhu, L., 2006. Wavelet-based index of magnetic storm activity. Journal of Geophysical Research 111, A09215, doi:10.1029/2006JA011635] to complement the traditional Dst index. The new index can be computed automatically by using the wavelet-based statistical procedure without human intervention on the selection of quiet days and the removal of secular variations. In addition, the WISA is flexible on data stretch and has a higher temporal resolution (1 min), which can provide a better description of the dynamical variations of magnetic storms. In this work, we perform a systematic assessment study on the WISA index. First, we statistically compare the WISA to the Dst for various quiet and disturbed periods and analyze the differences of their spectral features. Then we quantitatively assess the flexibility of the WISA on data stretch and study the effects of varying number of stations on the index. In addition, the ability of the WISA for handling the missing data is also quantitatively assessed. The assessment results show that the hourly averaged WISA index can describe storm activities equally well as the Dst index, but its full automation, high flexibility on data stretch, easiness of using the data from varying number of stations, high temporal resolution, and high tolerance to missing data from individual station can be very valuable and essential for real-time monitoring of the dynamical variations of magnetic storm activities and space weather applications, thus significantly complementing the existing Dst index.