National Economic Activity Data Command

How should governments assess the effect of Covid-related social restrictions? Data analytics companies DataSentics and Keboola approached the Czech Republic's government and several biggest financial institutions with the intent to quickly find a solution.

The solution turned out to be a new Data Command: a dashboard of national economic activity, based on data from various sources, but mainly from banking transactions. Nobody was surprised when the dashboard showed a substantial increase in online shopping activity. However, more important for judging the effect of national lockdown was a set of data showing transactions at petrol, bus and train stations.

Data also showed a significant number of Czech citizens still active in the hardest-hit regions of Europe – returns of these citizens will be a challenge for the government, but at least the challenge is better-understood now.

The data could also be used to create a "memory map" of past movements of an infected person. If patients provide their consent, the map can help with tracing the virus. The task-force behind the Data Command together is considering how to use sensitive data while protecting citizens' personal data and privacy.

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