| Using Real-Time, Localized Data to Help Businesses Decide When to Reopen

Using Real-Time, Localized Data to Help Businesses Decide When to Reopen

Armanino’s Chief People Officer Carol Ann Nash has been at the heart of managing our people and guidelines during the COVID-19 crisis. Each day she scours websites, using multiple sources to try to find the information she needs to make the most informed decisions possible. Like many other people operations professionals around the country, she is developing return-to-office plans and is hyper-focused on being a good steward for the people of the firm.

One of her biggest challenges has been determining what is happening, county by county, across our 16 different office locations. So when our Data & Analytics team showed her the beta test of a new COVID-19 tracker they were launching, she was surprised and delighted.

We sat down with Carol Ann to see how the tracker is making her job easier and what advice she would offer companies about using this data in their decision-making process.

Carol Ann, you were checking so many places for information. What was missing from the other trackers out there?

I needed a tracker that could show not just new infection numbers, but 3-day, 7-day and 14-day trends, and that could be filtered by specific counties. At Armanino, we have offices across six states and people in more than 40 states. Each region is dealing with its own unique COVID-19 case patterns.

How are you using the new COVID Recovery Tracker?

The tracker lets me see what’s happening in Southern California by tracking Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and Ventura counties. Then I can compare that data to the nine Bay Area counties, the Central Valley or even up north. Not every region of California has the same COVID-19 trends, and that’s the case in other states, too.

For example, we have an office and people up in Seattle, which was the first metro region hit in the United States. Our Bay Area offices were obviously affected quite early as well, and we responded to guidelines put out by local officials. Now Dallas and Los Angeles are hot zones, while Seattle and the Bay Area are trending in the right direction.

You mentioned local guidelines. That must be a lot to keep track of for businesses serving multiple regions. How do you manage it all?

That’s another helpful thing that’s in the tracker. Each state has its own updated news section that displays relevant information. For example, if I click on Texas or California or Illinois, I get the latest local information about stay-at-home orders, which businesses can re-open, and what gradual or staged re-openings will look like. This is critical information for any business re-opening plan.

Besides new case trends and government guidance, is there anything else in the works for the tool?

It’s been exciting to watch the Data & Analytics team in action, and they’ve shared their plans for the next phase of the tracker. They are working to pull in foot traffic trends in various locations by region and hope to launch that soon. The goal is to give businesses a sense of when people are going to retail shops or restaurants again or to show them what traffic looks like at airports. Companies will be able to align these traffic trends with the 3-day, 7-day and 14-day new case data to get a sense of which industries in which areas are safely reopening, versus where we are still seeing hot spots.

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