Why Pools Need Instant Access to Geographical Data Visualization (and Now)

As states across the country begin to ease into reopening amid COVID-19, the challenges of governmental risk pool members continue to surmount—fiscal health is threatened from growing economic uncertainty, entity budgets are being decimated as a result, and more is being asked of organizations with fewer resources at hand.

All of which is only the tip of the iceberg when considering the adverse effects just these few challenges are already having on necessary, government-funded public services like trash collection, fire and police protection, and more.

According to a post dated May 4 from the Association for Governmental Risk Pools (AGRiP), coronavirus stands to have a potentially larger impact on pools during the anticipated second and more deadly wave predicted this upcoming fall.

Unless there are changes in the availability of a vaccine or the ability to achieve herd immunity, the COVID-19 pandemic will probably last 18 to 24 months—Ann Gergen, AGRiP Executive Director

Based upon a report from the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), of the center’s three projected coronavirus scenarios—in which we will see peaks and valleys in cases over the next couple of years, see a large peak in the fall that will dwarf current cases in comparison, or see a slow burn without pattern—CIDRAP recommends planning for a fall peak. But where does this leave pools in terms of planning for a wave of cases only a few months out, while members continue to work with limited resources, time, and funds amid COVID-19?

The Impact of Data Visualization

Operating under CIDRAP’s recommendation to commence planning for a “fall peak”, pool members are left with an even greater need for access to the latest updates on coronavirus and the ability to easily and quickly digest reliable data. Accessibility to granular geographical information like number of confirmed cases, hospital beds, government mandates, company locations, and more—all in one place—becomes crucial. Origami’s geographical data visualization tool set provides pools with that and more. 

Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping through the Origami platform enables pools to integrate third party data through APIs, which can then be mapped at state and county levels. This provides pools with localized reporting and insights from trusted sources, like the American Red Cross or Johns Hopkins, and cuts out external data that would otherwise clutter and slow reporting. Integrated data can then be visualized on maps, widgets, dashboards, etc. to provide easy-to-read reports, interactive maps, drill-down ability, and more. 

This map is an overlay of stay-at-home orders by county (orange/red/tan), hospital beds (purple) and Origami locations (yellow). Third-party data source: American Red Cross

So what does this mean for pools? With GIS mapping capabilities through Origami, pools equip members with the ability to visually monitor crisis situations, quickly identify hotbeds, and combine and break out data sets, all while utilizing minimal resources. This in turn allows for rapid decision making and determination of areas needing further analysis. And when governmental organizations are preparing for a potential second wave of the pandemic, accessible data for quick decision making and planning is of utmost importance.

Data Visualization Beyond COVID-19

GIS mapping and data visualization is a key resource beyond COVID-19 and can serve as a valuable differentiator in pool and member response when future crises hit. In 2017, when hurricanes Harvey and Irma unleashed destruction to the southern United States, Compass Group USA utilized Origami Risk and tracked the impact that the hurricanes had on business disruption, property damage, and more. With natural disasters and infectious diseases becoming more common and severe due to climate change, lessons learned and tools utilized during the coronavirus stand to have just as great of an impact in the future. 

In a non-crisis setting, data visualization allows pools to communicate and visualize items such as concentrations of assets and losses, as well as areas where claims thresholds are at a higher or lower level based on specific members or locations. This allows pools and members to mitigate risk and reduce potential losses. GIS mapping therefore has a two-fold advantage: providing better insights into typical member needs, and in a moment of crisis, providing easily consumable data when time is of the essence.

Example of a GIS map in Origami showing properties damaged by hail strikes for members to understand and act on varying levels of risk.

By partnering with Origami Risk, your pool gains both a leading insurance technology solution and a trusted, collaborative service team. As we continue to develop pandemic solutions in pace with our clients’ individual needs—such as exposure tracking and location audits—Origami will remain diligent in making updated resources available in the form of webinars, presentation slides, blog posts, and more, all of which can be found on our coronavirus resources page.

To learn more about Origami’s data visualization tools or to discuss how our risk management solution can be tailored to fit your pool’s needs, request a demo here. If you are a client and not already utilizing the tools in this post or on our COVID-19 resources page, reach out to your client executive to have it set-up. To stay updated with Origami’s latest coronavirus-related content and resources, sign-up for our COVID-19 newsletter here.