EDIT (JULY 2020): I AM NO LONGER REFRESHING THIS DATA, AS THERE ARE FINALLY MORE OPTIONS TO VISUALLY OBSERVE THE TRENDS. I WILL KEEP THE POST HERE IN ORDER TO REMIND PEOPLE ABOUT FALLACIES IN DATA COLLECTION.
Lots of data has been published regarding COVID-19, but one frustrating factor (in my opinion) has been that the data is often at the “daily” level which makes analysis difficult. The way that counties collect and publish data vary greatly, so we tend to see repeatable patterns of new cases being highest on Fridays and lowest on Mondays. These fluctuations distract from the overall theme, so one way to deal with it is to use moving averages or weekly averages.
By doing so, we can get a better sense of how cases and deaths are trending week over week.
In this dashboard, it is important to remember the issues regarding data collection:
- Testing is not administered at random. So the number of cases is skewed based on test kits available and individuals experiencing symptions (people not experiencing symptoms are likely NOT being tested, so the true number of cases is unknown).
- Deaths are not attributed to co-morbidity. We’ve seen that COVID-19 has largely affected populations that are already at risk (elderly, chronic health issues). The deaths counts here are attributing 100% of the death to be caused by COVID-19 which is not entirely true. The data is still useful but must be considered in this context.
Unfortunately, Tableau Public does NOT allow for real-time data updating, so the only time that this data can be updated is when I re-publish the report using an updated data set.
For anyone interested in refreshing this viz with new data, you may do so by downloading the viz and then refreshing it with the latest data available from the NY Times git.