What we have found though is that the data WHO provide does have some anomalies. For example, we found cases where the total number of deceased in some countries would drop which is literally a miracle. Digging into these, we found that most of the anomalies have an explanation of some sort. (eg Some deaths were incorrectly attributed to Covid-19 and this was later corrected.) As a result, we decided that a few anomalies found in the inevitable chaos that dealing with a rapidly spreading disease introduces was acceptable.
Once we found a source of data we were happy with, the next problem was getting this into a usable format. The daily situational reports from WHO are published as PDF documents. We had to take these and somehow get them into a data format. This involved converting the PDF to Microsoft Word format and then copying the data from Word to Microsoft Excel.
However, we still had more to do. The way the situation reports gave data was not ideal. For example, the number of cases and new cases were given in one field with the new cases shown as a bracketed number next to the total cases. We needed to split out the new cases from the total cases and have these as 2 separate fields.
We now have an automated process where we simply past the data from the daily situation reports, and refresh our Excel data source. This process takes around 5 minutes which is manageable.
Having found a way to get solid data in a usable format, we were able to build a visualisation using Power BI. We can now update our visualisation with the new data on a daily basis and it's available for public consumption. We published the dashboard to the Power BI server for access by anyone who wants to view it. We've published the actual visualisation in it's own dedicated blog post click HERE to see it. Our plan is to keep this updated as new data comes in.
We hope you find this interesting.
That's all for now...
Scott (and big thanks to Ian for all his hard work in making this visualisation happen!)