Background: COVID-19

On January 30th, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially labeled the COVID-19 virus as a “public health emergency of international concern”. In the weeks that followed, the world watched as the virus grew and began to spread across Asia and Europe, and the concern over the virus spreading to the United States no longer became a question of “IF”, but rather “WHEN”.

In a proactive effort to reduce the spread of the virus, some American businesses began to limit or shut down operations entirely, while most continued business as usual, waiting until more concrete information became available. Over the past week, that much needed information became more accessible and the impact on American businesses became clearer.

On March 11th, 2020, the WHO officially classified the COVID-19 virus as a Pandemic, and two days later, the President of the United States declared the COVID-19 outbreak as a National Emergency. We’ve now seen the cancellation of the NBA season, the NCAA Tournament, concerts, and virtually every other organized event of over 100 people.

As a country, the COVID-19 virus is no longer a story we’re hearing about on the news, but a reality that we must take seriously and act accordingly.


The Challenge

Whether you’re the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or the owner of a small business, now is the time to be the captain of the ship, and the best way to do that is through informed decision making. Rightfully so, the spread of the COVID-19 virus has become the central conversation of every news outlet, social media platform, and employee coffee break. With this flurry of information, it can be challenging to adequately assess the risks posed on your employees, clients, and business operations. Unfortunately, closing one’s doors until the virus subsides is not practical for many business owners or even for the employees themselves.

The financial strain that can be induced by lack of cash flow can lead to employees not getting paid, benefits being reduced, or even the business closing itself. On the other hand, continuing operations means that employees may be put at a higher risk of coming into contact with the virus. The question that every business owner must now ask themselves is this:

“How do I create a safe, healthy working environment for my employees, while keeping the business moving forward?”

 Navigating the Ship

In order to develop a strategy that prioritizes 1) the safety of your employees, and 2) the sustainability of the business, it’s important to ensure that it is built on reliable information and informed decisions, specifically in the context of your business. For example, many businesses tend to operate in a rather predictable geographic space, and each of those spaces will vary in terms of the risk posed by COVID-19, based on the number of confirmed cases in the area.

In addition to the geographical locations that your business operates, it’s also important to consider the type of interactions that occur there. Consumer facing locations may lead to a higher quantity and more unique person-person contact points, introducing more opportunities for riskier interactions, while more isolated workspaces may produce few or no interactions at all. This example just goes to show how context is key when evaluating and developing your business strategy.

Where is COVID-19?

Here at Syntelli Solutions, we believe in “Synchronized Intelligence”. For us, that means putting the right information in the hands of the right people. With the outbreak of COVID-19 across the United States, we have observed a need for reliable information about this virus to be disseminated more openly, in order to ensure the safest business practices are being implemented in our communities and beyond.

In an effort to inform key decision makers and the general public about the risk of COVID-19 in your area, we have integrated COVID-19 data from the World Health Organization, Center for Disease Control, and other governmental bodies into a Power BI Dashboard. With this data, we have developed a heatmap time-lapse of where, when, and at what magnitude the COVID-19 virus has spread across global regions, as well as across the United States.

To see how COVID-19 may be impacting your community or that of your business, checkout the videos below: 


Global Spread of the Corona Virus 

United States Spread of the Corona Virus


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Tyler Hickey, Sr Analytics Associate

Tyler Hickey, Sr Analytics Associate

Tyler grew up in Geneva, Illinois and graduated from Davidson College in 2016. While at Davidson, he studied mathematics and performed independent research on the applications of data science in sports. Through this experience, Tyler developed a passion for the application of data analytics and data science in a variety of industries. At Syntelli, he has had the opportunity to work on a diverse range of analytics use cases, leveraging various BI tools, API’s, and data platforms.

When Tyler isn’t professing his love for data, you can find him writing, serving as a pilot for the US Bobsled team, and training for the next Winter Olympics in Beijing, China in 2022!


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