The Anonymous Widower

The Government’s Terrible COVID-19 Statistics

In an article in The Times today, Sir David Speigelhalter lambasts the Government over their collection of COVID-19 statistics.

I have been involved in the analysis of several very large databases and four factors improve the quality of the answers you get.

  1. The more records or in this case tests you have, the better. So I back David Speigelhalter! We should stop people on the street and test them!
  2. The more fields or pieces of data in each test you have, the better. So perhaps each test should be linked to your NHS record.
  3. The quality of the data is important. In my experience NHS scores about two out of five for quality as a lot of medical staff, often fill it in badly. In one case, I was looking for reasons for low birth weight babies and in many cases, the field was filled with 9.99 Kg.
  4. And then there’s the output of the data. I was taught how to display data for idiots, by the former Chief Accountant of a FTSE 500  company, who was working as the Chief Management Accountant of a Clearing Bank. He had found showing scatter diagrams with each branch as a single point on a large sheet, really got Branch Managers to think about what they are doing, if they weren’t running with the herd. These diagrams made problem branches stand out like the sorest of thumbs!

So where are the scatter diagrams for all of the Health Authorities in the UK, so everybody can see how their area, is doing against everybody else?

By the way, I trust Sir David, as we have the same birthday and share it with James Cameron, Jeff Thomson, Katherine Hamnett, Lawrence of Arabia, Menachem Begin and Madonna.

May 11, 2020 - Posted by | Health | , ,

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