As the world struggles to fight with COVID-19 this year, the responsibility of stopping the virus from spreading has fallen on public and private agencies. With COVID-related deaths rising around the globe, it has become even more important that public and private entities are adequately equipped to provide citizens with accurate and timely information.

Governmental agencies and non-profit organizations are handling huge amounts of COVID data which is evolving nearly every day. Many local government organizations are using Power BI to share COVID-19 virus data with its citizens in the form of dashboards and maps which can be conveniently digested by the public.

Microsoft has provided local and state governments with a Power BI toolkit at no cost. This toolkit is aimed at empowering governments to publish information about caseloads and hot zones as quickly as possible and in a way that is easily understood. It has proven to be an extremely useful tool for data tracking.

COVID Power BI Toolkit

Power BI Providing Updated and Accurate Information

Across the globe, Microsoft Power BI is being used by governments and hospitals to provide their communities with updated and accurate information regarding the COVID-19 spread. For instance, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) published various interactive Power BI dashboards displaying pertinent data. Citizens can easily locate  current and total-to-date case counts. Citizens can also access an up-to-the-minute count of how many COVID tests have been conducted and display detailed metrics of those impacted by the virus, broken-out by a specific criteria and demographics.

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services is utilizing Power BI as a public health emergency response tool.  Power BI graphs posted to the public containing COVID-19 data communicated the importance of taking safety precautions quickly.  During the height of the virus, the department’s health officials were able to quickly create a summary report to  share with Australians.

Recently, Microsoft partnered with USAFacts, a not-for-profit, nonpartisan source of comprehensive and understandable government data, to make tax expenditure data available to the public. They used Power BI to provide a data-driven portrayal demonstrating the impact of the disbursement of the federal government’s finances and on society. In addition, the organization collects data from the US Treasury, the federal Office of Management and Budget, and the Federal Reserve to visually depict information that would traditionally be housed in 10-k reports.  Now, with the recent advent of the virus, they have extended the use of Power BI to provide a national dataset for COVID-19 by consolidating relevant data originating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state and local public health agencies. Ultimately, the goal behind Microsoft’s collaboration with USAFacts is to make it convenient for citizens to analyze and visualize a variety of disparate data.

How do they do it?

The toolkit provided by Microsoft includes:

  • An embed code (that can be placed on your website)
  • Power BI Desktop file
  • Power BI Desktop
  • Power BI Publish-to-web

This toolkit allows state and local governments to perform ad-hoc analyses, edit data, and generate and customize  summary reports intended for the public. As data is added to a Microsoft Power BI dashboard, the reports are automatically refreshed.

MIBAR’s Role With Power BI

Microsoft’s Power BI has been extremely helpful to hospitals and citizens to understand where outbreaks are percolating, so that they can take preventative measures to flatten the curve. The technology provides a platform whereby vast amounts of data, from any source, can be uploaded and translated into charts and graphs that make it easy to comprehend the pandemic  holistically. The solution integrates seamlessly with countless other applications, and hence, has quickly gained popularity with users around the world.

MIBAR, a Power BI consultancy based in NYC, employs a team of Power BI experts that can build data dashboards for you, to make data analysis easier and more accessible.  The group has worked with non-profits and corporations to analyze their data sets to create a compelling dashboard that allows for near immediate understanding of an organization’s financial standing.  The Microsoft Platform has been a core offering for MIBAR for many years, and the team members excel by listening to the goals of clients and engaging in thoughtful conversation to truly understand the goal of the project before going to work on building a Power BI dashboard.

If you are associated with a hospital or a government agency, Microsoft’s Power BI can be a powerful resource for you in times of crisis. Contact MIBAR for an assessment of how Power Bi can help you. Also, attend our upcoming webinar (October 15) to learn more: Building Executive Dashboards with Microsoft Power BI.

Additional Power BI Resources

Empowering the Citizen Data Scientist with Business Intelligence

The Power of Dashboards: How to See the Big Picture with Power BI

What’s Coming to Power BI in 2020 Release Wave 1?