8 types of data: Telling the story of COVID-19

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As the United States enters its second month of COVID-19, the availability of data on the pandemic that will define a generation has become almost overwhelming. Websites abound with tables, graphics and projections on how different aspects of the crisis are unfolding. Some use data to make their case for a far-flung theory, others display it in a way that tells an easy-to-interpret story of how a community, state or even country is combating this threat.

Last month, I shared seven data visualizations that did a good job explaining one portion of the story. Since then, there have been too many new graphics developed to pick just a handful more. Instead, what follows are eight types of data that should be considered by stakeholders as we work to better understand how best to move forward in a post-COVID-19 era.

1. State and county data

Given the United States’ lack of a robust national data center, it falls to regional and local departments of health or public health to collate COVID-19 data. This means that any visualization platform comparing states or counties is using someone else’s data. And that someone else is often an office of epidemiologists or infectious disease experts that understand the nuances and limitations of the dataset.

So, rather than relying on unofficial national dashboards to look at individual communities, try turning to the original source.

Read more.

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