• Kalle Noble

Data Tracking During a Pandemic

Explaining how the pandemic has affected data tracking.

Data science was heavily involved in 2020 throughout our understanding of the corona virus pandemics. One of the many ways this was evident was through tracing people’s activities throughout the pandemic in order to better understand what was happening within the country. This can be shown through how we had to find new ways of tracing the human contact with each other, this is most evident though contact tracing applications for iOS and Android devices. California was the largest state to adopt this application within the United States, Apple’s iOS devices even implemented the feature within the system preferences in order to enable an even larger pool of data to be achievable.

Over the years phones have have made it easier and easier to track individuals, so it was only a matter of time before this feature was made available. According to a Forbes article written by Rachel Sandler, the feature uses bluetooth signals to track everyone who has opted into the feature, so that every time someone comes into contact with another person, this data is collected and archived until a user tests positive and enter that information into their phone, once this information is entered it can alert all users who’s data has been recorded as coming into contact with that person. By using bluetooth instead of location data or phone numbers, the app can keep the variety of information that is traced low and protect users identities and privacy. The adoption rate of the technology has been higher than other states that have introduced this technology partially due to California’s history of early-adopters and tech minded citizens. The main issue in other states for this is that not enough people have enabled the feature to create big enough data from it. One the issues with this could be lack of marketing of the feature in order to create further awareness. If thoroughly adopted this feature would work wonders for healthcare workers and help keep numbers down.

Another example of how people’s actives have been being traced throughout the corona virus pandemic is from their purchasing history. According to a High Plains Journal article written by Jennifer Latzke, this data was collected simply through different retailers tracking their customer’s purchasing behavior. It shows what commodities mattered most to people at specific times of the pandemic as well as constant behaviors. For example, restaurant business took a very hard hit in the beginning around March and April, but has relatively returned to normal since then. This information can be used to show how businesses have learned to adapt to the pandemic. Certain products like toilet paper and paper towels went up around this time, but have gone back to normal since then. Video games and masks have stayed as a constant product that consumers continue to buy more of throughout the pandemic.

Works Cited

Latzke, J. (2021, January 04). COVID-19 led to shifts in consumer behavior in 2020. Retrieved January 21, 2021, from https://www.hpj.com/ag_news/covid-19-led-to-shifts-in-consumer-behavior-in-2020/article_e2952646-4dd1-11eb-96ab-c320bf88669c.html

Sandler, R. (2020, December 08). California Launches Covid-19 Contact Tracing App From Apple, Google. Retrieved January 21, 2021, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/rachelsandler/2020/12/07/california-launches-covid-19-contact-tracing-app-from-apple-google/?sh=62862843167a