Data dashboards aid Australian Department of Health in COVID-19 related decision making

In a statement yesterday, SaaS provider Qlik shared how the Australian Department of Health was able to make public health decisions through data.


When the pandemic outbreak first happened in early 2020, the DOH needed a solution that could support the National Incident Room to provide “curated data on a daily basis so as to keep the Australian public informed on the unfolding COVID-19 situation”. According to Qlik, the technology company offered end-to-end solutions for the DOH, enabling it to join “many disparate datasets quickly produce a wide range of reporting formats”.

Some of the areas that the solution helped in include the following:

  • Public announcements: Initially, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Nick Coatsworth had to deliver twice weekly updates via social media. With Qlik’s reporting solution, the DOH was able to “supply accurate data a flexible solution for every instance”.
  • Pandemic Incident Management: A user-centric dashboard enabled the DOH’s internal pandemic management team to monitor respond quickly to information on the DOH’s own workforce volumes, IT capacity, staff movement to identify manage employees working remotely or onsite.
  • Impact Assessment: By integrating data from sources such as the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods hospital data from the Critical Health Resource Information System, the DOH was able to provide a view of national availability for medical devices such as ventilators PPE, as well as measure hospital capacity.
  • Vulnerability Assessment: A separate Qlik app integrated data sets from 18 different vulnerable cohorts such as those with chronic disease, disability, or those in remote areas. The dashboard enabled the DOH’s Data Analytics Branch to spot trends in the data sets according to age, gender geography to identify areas people that were most at risk to aid decision making.


Australia’s COVID-19 response has been the envy of countries around the world. Even after experiencing a second surge of cases between May October last year, the country adapted quickly cases have not gone beyond the 1,000 mark since.

Data dashboards have proved useful in the fight against COVID-19, specifically in the area of decision making. In the US, NYU Langone Health’s source-of-truth dataset de-identified COVID-19 data repository enabled operational leadership to make informed decisions regarding resource allocation strategic planning.


“Australia’s approach to the COVID-19 pandemic is well-regarded globally this can largely be attributed to a well-coordinated collaborative effort across government, the healthcare sector as well as the private sector that was underpinned by data-driven decision making,” said Charlie Farah, Director of Industry Solutions for Healthcare Public Sector at Qlik.

“This enabled the government to swiftly act provide clear communication to citizens State authorities on the rapidly changing situation to help limit the spread of COVID-19 within the community,” he added.

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