Data Analytics: A Weapon For The World To Battle The Pandemic
A pandemic after 100 years, has found a much-advanced world with a whole new set of tools
The Aarogya Setu app downloaded on your phone is currently using your GPS location and Bluetooth data to ascertain if you are near an infected person. Along with this data, it is giving you credible data (information) in return related to COVID-19. Moreover, the data derived from contact tracing, assessments, and tracking is allowing firms and authorities to fuel data analytics for decision making.
The role of data during this pandemic is multifold- creating larger datasets through open sourcing, deriving analytics for health monitoring and future decisions, and lastly, using the internet to provide citizens with data required related to the pandemic.
A lot of countries, like India, have developed contact tracing apps that are gathering data of infected and non-infected individuals to track the spread of the virus. The same strategy was used by New Zealand who imposed an early lockdown and used contact tracing to its optimum. Data and a few more factors have led New Zealand successfully out of the pandemic radar.
For the rest of the world, data continues to serve them with analytics which is now being called pandemic analytics. Gathering data from many sources and then deriving insights out of it is known as analytics and in the case of a pandemic, it is data about the pandemic.
How is Data Analytics helping?
With Google and Apple collaborating over developing a contact tracing tool, it is confirmed that this method is reaping results. By creating a large dataset of infected persons and tracing everyone that has been in contact with them, there are two things achieved- determining potential cases and strictly quarantining those infected.
This same dataset can help in understanding where the clusters are forming, what are the hotspots, and what could be future cases. With this data, hospitals can be better prepared for incoming patients by having beds, resources, and health workers in place. Until there is a full proof cure found for the virus, it is best to learn to manage it.
Not just hospitals, these meaningful forecasts can be used by leaders to respond better to the situation. With more information at hand and possibilities drawn out, a better plan of action can be devised. A lot of businesses were able to gauge the gravity of the situation due to analytics and mold their business accordingly.
Information is a key ingredient of data and by tracking such large datasets, analytics will be able to refine relevant data. This data can then be supplied to all regulatory authorities, governments, and news organizations so every individual is made aware of the consequences and is able to take immediate action.
Privacy < Pandemic
The rules and guidelines surrounding data privacy have been overlooked during this pandemic and no one is complaining. Government app Aarogya Setu did face a lot of backlash over privacy issues. While privacy continues to remain a top priority, at the moment public safety is the only matter in focus. These tools may help us get through a pandemic but should be questioned if the usage is continued without purpose.