Report Automation provides certainty in uncertain times

Background

Victoria was greatly affected by COVID lockdowns and restrictions due to an outbreak of cases however the Government was receiving delayed information on case numbers which resulted in the inability to make real time decisions and keep the public up to date with an accurate  status of COVID in Victoria.

 

Delayed reporting and low awareness of risk were two key challenges that Department of Health engaged ARQ to help solve.

The Challenge

Victoria was greatly affected by COVID lockdowns and restrictions due to an outbreak of cases however the Government was receiving delayed information on case numbers which resulted in the inability to make real time decisions and keep the public up to date with an accurate  status of COVID in Victoria.

Delayed reporting and low awareness of risk were two key challenges that Department of Health engaged ARQ to help solve.

Summary of the challenge focus areas;

 

Report automation

ARQ understood the need to automate the reporting, reducing time, cost, and the possibility of errors. This automation is particularly important in delivering fast and reliable reports in critical situations, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Transmission Risk Analysis

ARQ incorporated the use of mathematical models to evaluate the transmission risk of COVID-19 across Victorian suburbs, an important tool in assisting authorities to make informed decisions. The department has developed an agent-based risk analysis model, which predicts a risk score for each postcode and LGA in Victoria for the upcoming week. However, due to the complexity of the COVID-19 transmission process, obtaining good performance from this model is challenging, which requires more sophisticated techniques, such as machine learning that ARQ was able to assist with.

Solution

 

Report automation

Most of the reporting tasks in the department were developed in the R programming language. ARQ employed advanced data tables and automatic data extraction and manipulation techniques in R to enhance the performance of the existing platforms and to eliminate several manual reporting tasks. Report automation was successfully implemented for the following reports:

 

  • Daily vaccination report, including the rate of first and second doses for different vaccine brands, age groups, postcodes, and local government areas (LGA)
  • Weekly vaccination report for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities considering the country of birth and preferred language
  • Vaccine effectiveness report which highlights possible correlations between vaccination rate and cases growth in LGAs of concern, i.e., LGAs with the largest number of accumulated cases

 

Transmission Risk Analysis

The agent-based transmission risk model involves dozens of parameters adjusting the effect of demographics, workplace, and community movement of each agent. ARQ proposed a machine learning-based validation schema for fine-tuning these parameters. This schema was designed to maximize the historical accuracy of the model while avoiding model overfitting. ARQ also provided an output analysis of the model to highlight postcodes where the actual and estimated number of cases show a noticeable difference. This analysis allows identifying important parameters for further fine-tuning and introducing new parameters to mitigate the deviation.

 

Results:

Apart from eliminating several manual reporting tasks, the data manipulation techniques implemented by ARQ have successfully reduced the reporting time, in some cases, by up to a quarter. This enhancement allows the department to generate reports faster with less labour involvement. The machine learning-based validation schema and the output analysis also resulted in an increase of over 10% in the accuracy of the transmission risk model, helping authorities to make more informed decisions in containing the spread of COVID-19 across Victoria and ultimately ensuring that the people of Victoria were well informed of the state of the pandemic in their area and decisions around safety were able to be made confidently.

 

About Victoria Department of Health

The Department of Health develops and delivers policies and programs and advises the Australian Government on health, aged care and sport. They work with a wide range of stakeholders to ensure better health for all Australians.

 

The Department of Health plays a critical role in the Victorian health system and is responsible for shaping it to meet the health needs of Victorians into the future. The department also leads the Victorian Government’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Directions issued by the department have helped contain the spread of COVID-19 and keep Victorian safe. These efforts have led Victoria to be one of the most vaccinated and safest places in the world during the pandemic.

 

About ARQ

Arq is an AWS Premier Partner that makes great things happen for our customers. We are humble and don’t talk about what we do, we would rather talk about what our customers have achieved or even better let them tell the world. But we want to make sure we are the best so we are also an active AWS Managed Services Provider, holder of both the AWS Mobile Competency and the AWS data and Analytics competency – AWS raise the bar and we rise to meet it each year.  Our capabilities and practice encompass everything in the cloud, advanced data, analytics, AI & ML and digital experiences across all channels. We are the true end to end partner, for companies of all sizes that need the best and value experience and expertise. We partner with half of the top 10 ASX and over 100 other Australian companies to help them get the best from their own cloud adoption journey.