IBM’s Cloud Pak for Data helps Wunderman Thompson build guideposts for reopening

By and Sheetal Rishi | 3 minute read | June 24, 2020

As communities and businesses worldwide look to understand the economic impact of COVID-19 and prepare for an eventual recovery, the biggest test of decision-making will be the data that will inform the business decisions. Was it trusted? Was it timely? Was it enough?

To date, there are many efforts to release COVID-19 dashboards that can give us a hint on what to do next. They include health conditions, COVID-19 cases, death rates and demographics, sure, but no source has been able to deliver data on risk, readiness and recovery—until now.

WPP’s global digital agency Wunderman Thompson, with the help of the IBM Data and AI Expert Labs and the Data Science and AI Elite team, has been able to harness WT’s proprietary datasets from their Identify Network using IBM Watson(R) Machine Learning to swiftly create a COVID-19 dashboard that details county by county risk, readiness and recovery.

This latest project is a culmination of over a year of work that we have undertaken to maximize data science ROI by generating insights from consumer data. With the foundational Data and AI platform well in place, our combined teams of business leaders, data scientists and engineers pulled together an insightful risk, readiness and recovery dashboard in a couple of weeks.

Wunderman Thompson’s Identity Network provided three years of cross-category transaction data by county in the United States. Looking at a typical time trajectory without COVID-19, we can measure what a normal state of health and the economy should have been and compare to where we are now.

Built using IBM Cloud Pak for Data on the IBM Cloud, the dashboard allows users to dive deep into risk, readiness and recovery indexing. This can be used for visibility into the U.S. market, aggregating and analyzing a variety of different data sources using IBM Watson Studio and Watson Machine Learning within Cloud Pak for Data.

The dashboard provides county-by-county views with guideposts for where and when enterprises across various industries can inform various decisions. Some of the use cases include inventory planning, customer engagement and employee management. With this framework, Wunderman Thompson can provide visibility into the US market to connect health, point of interest and economic data in meaningful ways.

Take retail and telecom, for example.

Say a large retailer needs to plan which store locations need to open first. Recovery data, combined with their own CRM data and zip code, can look at the store’s footprint, and get recommended actions based on their risk and readiness score.

Telcos need to manage retail operations and store inventory. They can use the customized dashboard to optimize supply chain and inventory management in distribution centers with projected demands based on store opening plans.

Dashboard features include:

Community risk indexing

This feature combines compiled human health conditions and demographic data from WT Identity Graph Data Lake along with Johns Hopkins’ daily reported Covid-19 impact plus U.S. Census data to present a localized view of population risk and Covid-19 impact into 3,241 US counties.

Community readiness indexing

This reveals insights on hospitals’ readiness based on available beds (by type). Data was sourced from the Wunderman Thompson Healthcare Cost Receipt Information System (HCRIS) along with millions of business point of interest data to present pharmacy available into each of the 3,241 US counties.

Community recovery indexing

We tapped into the USD 600 billion of transaction data across 40 purchase categories to create a like for like view of economic velocity by time period localized to each of the 3,241 US counties—giving us visibility into the economic impact of Covid-19, and guideposts for decisions and actions supporting recovery.

This is just the beginning. IBM Cloud Pak for Data offers organizations an easy way to combine the existing dashboard data with their enterprise data for more customizable insights. The dashboard can be further augmented by combining datasets such as The Weather Company(R), healthcare claims data and supply chain for demand management and forecasting.

With combined areas of industry plus digital domain expertise and our pooled resources of data science and data engineers, together IBM and Wunderman Thompson can deliver a powerful offering to clients that addresses some of the core gaps in planning for a staged approach to resuming business operations.

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