Industry: Local Government
2020 was a year of challenges for Wake County. In response to the COVID Public Health Crisis, the County reassigned over 400 employees from across the organization to the support effort. As of December 31, 2020, Wake County had over 45k confirmed cases of COVID-19. With this new virus came an influx of changing information, data, process and protocols that needed to be maintained and adhered to by ever-growing support staff. The challenge the County faced was how to leverage the vast amount of COVID-related data to support decision-makers with information to help control the pandemic.
Through a combination of Microsoft tools, including SQL Server, Power Automate, Power Apps and Power BI, our IT organization built a scalable solution encompassing all the enterprise data management phases to acquire, clean, enrich and analyze data related to confirmed cases. While we are a Microsoft shop, this was a completely new setup for us to use PowerApps in a production setting. PowerApps hosted the front end to manage case tracking with the data stored in SQL Server, where Power BI could access it for reporting. Power BI provided a platform to create an enterprise data set that was then utilized to generate internal and external facing dashboards refreshed on a schedule to provide near-real-time data.
The internal dashboards provided public health senior staff with essential data to identify trends of spread within the community, including identifying high volume locations and demographics. This information changed the approach to community outreach communications, scheduling resources within our emergency response center, and logistics of our mass testing operation, including selecting testing sites. External dashboards provided the community with aggregate and trending data, including policymakers’ key metrics for corrective actions.