Four Ways Big Data Is Equipping Efforts Against COVID-19

Four Ways Big Data Is Equipping Efforts Against COVID-19

As COVID-19 remains a menacing challenge for public health officials and health care workers, the discouraging news of increasing cases and deaths can be overwhelming. It’s good to get a glimpse into efforts around containing and treating the virus, and, ultimately, getting past the pandemic with a vaccine. Across multiple aspects of the fight against COVID-19, big data is making a big difference.

Making Sense of Infection Patterns

Understanding how to contain COVID-19 begins with big data because it begins with understanding how and where infections spread. Graph databases have been a helpful way to convert SQL information through GraphQL and equip users to see the relationships between each set of data points. Seeing these connections is helpful to determine who might be at risk of contracting COVID-19 through contact tracing.

Looking more broadly at infection patterns, graphing these relationships is aiding researchers as they determine which types of activities and behaviors are more likely to create situations where COVID-19 spreads, and which types of activities are safer. Offering communities recommendations based on this data helps reduce the spread while recommending safer activities. This research is what led to the understanding that ventilation is important for limiting spread and that fomites are a less important factor in transmission.

The research from big data also helped researchers understand that a single exposure can trigger infection, rather than requiring multiple exposures for infection. It’s an important part of understanding the risk of infection for any individual person.

Treatment Advances and Tracking

As cases of COVID-19 spread across the United States, the death rate has declined over time because doctors are pooling their data in real time to share which treatments are proving most effective. Doctors are sharing this information in other ways, but a database can be critical for doctors in low-income areas where more vulnerable patients may otherwise not receive the benefit of this information. The same is true for tracking the necessary equipment for effective treatment. 

Vaccine Development: Tracking and treatment are important elements of the fight against COVID-19, and big data will also play a part in the critical step of developing a vaccine. Vaccines typically take a long time to develop and test, then more time for FDA approval. In the case of a COVID-19 vaccine, big data is being combined with artificial intelligence technology to develop several vaccines as well as capture data related to the best medications to treat COVID-19. If vaccine development is successful, it will largely rest on the technology available and the benefit of large data banks.

Big Data Goes Local: Local initiatives to contain the virus depend on big data for analysis to determine how effective campaigns around masking and social distancing have impacted infection rates. These models allow for insights into which populations are receiving the right information and approaches, and where interventions are reaching a sufficient level of penetration with messages that reduce infection rates. These insights help community leaders determine when it’s appropriate for businesses, schools, and other buildings to be open.While there is a lot of bad news surrounding COVID-19, it’s encouraging to see how big data is fueling the response efforts. Contact us at to learn more about data analysis and how it might impact your enterprise.