Flow Communications

Flow client Genesis Analytics has developed two data intelligence dashboards to make sense of the Covid-19 pandemic, with a special focus on Africa.

With the number of new Covid-19 infections steadily rising in South Africa, policymakers will increasingly rely on accurate analytics and forecasting, and on experts who can analyse the data, to guide policy decisions.

“As Covid-19 infections started spreading throughout the world, many of us found ourselves anxiously scouring the web for information to help gauge our feelings and thoughts,” says Genesis Analytics head of marketing Didi Moyle.

“Equipping ourselves and our communities for interpreting and sharing data will help us make better-informed decisions. A data-first mindset may be one of Africa’s best weapons for mitigating the forthcoming challenges of this pandemic.

“Our dashboards have an advantage in that they are dynamic, so the user can search [for data] in the countries they are interested in and compare countries across the globe, as well as monitor crucial data such as testing rates and fatalities,” says Moyle.

Flow developed the minisite that houses the Genesis-developed dashboards, as well as news and resources related to the pandemic.

The data intelligence tools help decision-makers, and anyone else who is interested, to understand how the crisis is unfolding and where action may be required.

Moyle gives an overview of the two tools:

“The first is Is Africa Flattening the Curve. This is an interactive dashboard reporting on the spread of the virus, its fatality rate, and the response in testing across all African countries that have 100 cumulative cases or more. Compare the rate of spread of the virus across multiple countries, including your own selection of international benchmarks, or dive deeper into the spread of the virus at a provincial level in South Africa.

“The second, the Healthcare Risk Calculator, provides a quick tool for estimating the strain on the healthcare system by forecasting the amount of ICU beds that will be required over the next two weeks. Input your own data to see how the healthcare risk profile of your district, region or country will likely evolve over the next two weeks. This is a useful tool to support decisions about healthcare resources and lockdown levels.”

Insights from the dashboards are shared on Genesis’s news and social platforms. “In South Africa – and especially Joburg, where we are headquartered – it is important that people understand that Covid is real and is here. We need to arm ourselves with the facts, put on our masks (properly), keep a good distance from each other and wash our hands,” says Moyle.

“We’re proud to play a role in the conceptualisation and development of the minisite,” says Richard Frank, head of digital at Flow. “Working with the Genesis Analytics team meant getting a masterclass in analytics and data visualisation.”

A key aspect of the project was getting the website live as quickly as possible. “The team was enthusiastic and embraced the project – even though it was out of their usual scope of work,” says Moyle.

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