Fighting coronavirus: 4 ways analytics make a difference

Contact tracking

Contact lists can grow rapidly depending on the rate of infection and environmental factors that may encourage its spread. We’ve all seen how seasonal illnesses (such as colds and flu) can spread in a close-contact environment, such as a classroom or city bus. And of course, the more social interactions, the more work involved in identifying all of them on the contact list.

One of the disadvantages of contact tracking is that it relies on the interviewers’ memory to identify where they have been and who they have come into contact with. Few people can accurately retrace their steps and actions over a typical two to three day period.

With social network analysis, contact tracking becomes much easier. With available data, “epidemic detectives” can begin to build networks of contacts. The more data, the greater the chances of identifying vulnerability points. Then, using data visualization techniques, health officials can begin to identify common points of contact and build a robust, reliable picture of an infected person’s social interactions.

We create a whole methodology to evaluate people’s movements over time and correlate them with the spread of the virus. By knowing key locations based on their role in the network (that is, how central it is to speeding up the spread of the virus, how well-positioned to control the spread of flow, or how well-connected to other locations, etc.) we can help government agencies in defining social distance measures more precisely, according to SAS Principal Data Scientist Carlos Pinheiro.

Network analysis results give us a better understanding of people’s flow through placements, and how specific lockdowns can significantly affect the spread. It is not only locations with a large number of positives that affect risk, but also important network locations that regulate the flow of people – and thus the spread of the virus.

Analytics and AI can find answers and recommend ways to deal with this pandemic – faster and with more accuracy.

Situational awareness and critical response analysis

In the early days of the coronavirus outbreak, SAS began using the fast-flowing stream of data originally from China, then from across the globe, to visualize the spread and impact of COVID-19 on the world’s population.

The result is our development coronavirus dashboard. The dashboard’s auxiliary point lies in its ability to quickly access and organize data in easily understandable data visualizations to improve the situation’s awareness. Organizations in many different industries are using it to explore the relationship between outbreak hot spots and their business, including critical supply chains, distributed workforce, and emergency preparedness.

“In the early days and weeks of any widespread global health concern, especially in a fast-moving outbreak like coronavirus, there are many unknowns,” says Mark Lambrecht, Director of Global Health and Life Sciences Practice at SAS. “Data visualization can be a good starting point for understanding trends and pieces of data together for a meaningful story. The ability to visualize the spread of the virus can help create awareness, understand its effect and ultimately help with prevention efforts. ”

SAS experts are ready to help you get a dashboard up and running fast. Contact us using this short online form.

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