Creating trusted COVID-19 data for communities

In these rapidly changing times, we all need to get the best information available to make better informed decisions. Between news reports, adjusting to social distancing practices, and other daily adjustments, many of us face a deluge of incoming information. IBM is making it easier for people around the world to stay up to date on COVID-19 in their vicinity as demand for the latest news and statistics surges week-to-week.

Using IBM Cognos Analytics, IBM has developed a new, interactive global dashboard to show the spread of COVID-19 across the world. The COVID-19 data reflected in this dashboard is pulled from state and local governments and the World Health Organization.

The dashboard is designed to give the general public, researchers and even government officials detailed, localized and current information about COVID-19.

The dashboard responds to growing public demand for information about the virus. For example, visits to the top U.S. government websites with information about COVID-19 increased by 79 percent the week of March 9, compared with a week earlier—and by 425 percent compared with the week of Jan. 6, before many people were tracking news of the virus.

Above and beyond

The dashboard aims to offer a deeper level of functionality and detail, which could be especially useful to researchers and public health officials.

In addition to the data the dashboard provides, it also offers multiple ways to summarize data. For example, users can view statistics on active cases, deaths and recovered patients by country; number of cases by region; and historical trends. IBM is also considering developing additional tools for researchers.

Alongside the Cognos COVID-19 dashboard, IBM has developed an Incidents Map on the IBM Weather Channel app and The Incidents Map provides data by state, as well as county-level data. It includes trend graphs at the state level in the U.S., as well as the latest COVID-19 news and video from The Weather Channel editorial team. Public health information and patient education materials are also provided.

Both of the new IBM tools pull data from the World Health Organization and U.S. state and county government sources. In the future, IBM is planning to also collect data from national health departments outside of the U.S.

Necessity is the mother of all invention

Created in less than a week, the Incidents Map and Cognos COVID-19 dashboard are the result of extensive IBM teamwork and are in keeping with a key IBM objective: providing trusted information for all.

Experts from throughout the company collaborated around the clock using agile development methods while working from home. Instead of gathering around a whiteboard, developers and other experts worked remotely, using IBM digital collaboration tools and teleconferencing.

Stay positive

With the sudden change in our everyday lives, we must always remember that whenever a challenge arises, we should answer the call as a community. The dashboard detailed in this piece is an example of how quickly people with widely different talents can come together for a common goal that benefits everyone.

Explore the Cognos COVID-19 dashboard.