Friday, 11 June 2021 09:34

Australian Government leverages Qlik’s technology to provide data on COVID-19


The Department of Health has been using Qlik’s data visualisation and analytics solution to give more perspective on COVID-19 related information and support public announcements.

The Australian Government Department of Health leverages Qlik’s technology to deliver data analytics capabilities to support the department’s reporting of COVID-19 related information to key stakeholders, Qlik announces.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic in Australia in early 2020, the Department of Health has been using Qlik to provide health officials a perspective on COVID-19 related statistics. Qlik’s data visualisation and analytics solutions support COVID-19 public announcements, pandemic incident management, and COVID-19 updates on the Department of Health website.

Qlik says the Department needed a rapid data solution that was external facing, easily adaptable and could support the National Incident Room to provide curated data on a daily basis so as to keep the Australian public informed on the unfolding COVID-19 situation. This meant clear and swift reporting with no room for error.

Qlik offered an end-to-end solution, allowing health to join to many disparate datasets quickly and produce a wide range of reporting formats. As soon as the pandemic hit, it took not more than three weeks for a prototype platform to be built for the Department of Health. A live public website was available shortly after to provide up-to-date information built to support half million hits a day and up to 5,000 hits a second.

The Health team were challenged to develop new and innovative data products for many different audiences with the key guiding principles of accuracy, reliability, availability and consistency, all delivered rapidly.

Qlik solutions were used across the following areas:

COVID-19 public announcements: At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr Nick Coatsworth, deputy chief medical officer, was delivering twice weekly updates via social media channels and required updated information available to inform the public of the escalating COVID-19 situation. Using Qlik’s NPrinting reporting solution, the Department was able to supply accurate data and a flexible solution for every instance.

Informatic Placemat: Qlik’s data generation supported rapid response requests for internal and external information and decision making. Originally, the Placemat was built as a manually constructed visual dashboard highlighting key figures related to the spread of COVID-19. However, Qlik says this was extremely slow and exposed a risk for error. The Qlik solution enabled automated reporting. Qlik says it reduced time spent by staff in the National Incident Room to curate the information by five to six hours daily.

Pandemic Incident Management (PIM): A dashboard was created by combining different data models and Qlik apps to create analytics for internal use. The Department’s internal pandemic management team was able to monitor and respond to information on the Department’s own workforce volumes, IT capacity, and staff movement to identify and manage employees working remotely or onsite.

COVID-19 Impact Assessment: Through analytics, the Department was able to provide a view of the availability of medical devices such as ventilators and PPE, as well as measure hospital capacity. This was achieved by integrating data from a range of sources including the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) and hospital data from Critical Health Resource Information System (CHRIS). Information was updated daily to facilitate strategic decision making.

COVID-19 Vulnerability Assessment: A separate Qlik application helped integrate data sets from 18 different vulnerable cohorts such as those with chronic disease, disability, or those in remote areas. The dashboard enabled the Department’s Data and Analytics Branch to easily find correlations and trends in the data sets by drilling down into age, gender, and geography to find areas and people that were most at risk and to aid Department decision making.

Collaboration for success
For its pioneering work, the Australian Government Department of Health was recently presented the Qlik Excellence in Healthcare Award at Qlik’s Australia and New Zealand Health & Public Sector Digital Transformation Awards 2021.

“Australia’s approach to the COVID-19 pandemic is well-regarded globally and this can largely be attributed to a well-coordinated and collaborative effort across government, the healthcare sector, as well as the private sector that was underpinned by data-driven decision making,” says Charlie Farah, Qlik director of industry solutions for healthcare and public sector.

He concludes: “This enabled the government to swiftly act and provide clear communication to citizens and state authorities on the rapidly changing situation to help limit the spread of COVID-19 within the community.”

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