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Ideas and insights for today’s people-centered leaders.

To end the COVID-19 pandemic a large portion of the world needs to be vaccinated.  It is remarkable that less than a year since the emergence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, we have many vaccines in use to protect against the virus, and its morbidities and mortality.  Visier can help you use vaccination data to adjust to a post-pandemic world—planning shifts in operations, restarting suspended business activities, and the like.  

Building upon past work

Here at Visier, we have been tracking the COVID-19 situation and working closely with customers to help them respond.  As makers of people analytics solutions, we focused on helping customers ask the right questions of their workforce data so that they can develop fact-based emergency response plans.  Our work is based on three stages for crisis management: react, respond, and recover

Our people analytics solution has changed with the crisis.  We provide curated and consolidated data for cases, recoveries, deaths that we update on a daily basis. We also make this consolidated data freely available.  We added analyses to help you answer questions including difficult decisions on workforce size.  We soon added projections on the cases and death plus demand for hospital resources and paired this with analysis questions about how to recover from the crisis.  The Visier People®️ solution now includes data on human mobility and unemployment by location to help you plan how to respond and recover.

It is our hope that vaccination programs help all of us.  While some vaccines were given in China and Russia over the summer, most national plans started in December 2020 and will continue for over a year.  The success of these efforts will greatly affect many organizations.  Track the progress using your Visier People® solution.

Using the Vaccination Data in your Organization

We added data and metrics so you can track doses administered and patients vaccinated.  Just starting vaccinations in your area isn’t enough for normal operations to resume.  Due to how this virus spreads, situations change quickly, organizations need to continuously monitor risks and adapt to ensure employee safety, and mitigate potential impacts to the business. Below are five important questions that employers must ask: 

1. Where are vaccines being given?

It is important to understand if your employees are in a location with an active vaccination program.  Vaccines have been approved in several countries, but not all and some locations have a shortage of vaccine supply. 

You can track the progress of these vaccination efforts using metrics provided by Visier.  The Total COVID-19 Vaccine Doses metric is helpful for answering this question. 

2. Are you operating in a virus hotspot?

You may need to see if the location is a virus hotspot by looking at the COVID-19 case data.  The ideal is low incidence of the disease and active vaccinations.   However, you likely will be dealing with mixed cases like high case counts and active vaccinations. 

The metric New Fully Vaccinated Patients tells you about the change in the number of vaccinated patients. You can compare this to New Confirmed COVID-19 Cases.  You can compare two locations of different populations by selecting for the Number of Fully Vaccinated Patients per 100K metric. 

This visualization shows the trend of total COVID-19 vaccine doses per 100,000 people for the overall workforce compared to other locations. Fictional data used.

You cannot simultaneously plan for all of your sites, particularly if your organization has a global presence, so by identifying those locations with the highest risk and business impact, you can build a prioritized list of locations to work through.

3. How are vaccinations progressing?

Track the progress of these vaccination efforts using metrics provided by Visier and monitor the number of doses administered or patients vaccinated.  Some locations report vaccinations by doses given or administered.  We suspect governments will continue to provide this information for the duration of the pandemic.  As most vaccines require two doses for a person to be vaccinated, more jurisdictions are reporting the number of patients who are fully vaccinated.

This visualization shows the trend of total COVID-19 vaccine doses compared to the number of fully vaccinated patients. Fictional data used.

There are various ways to track the progress in vaccinations.  We have provided metrics to track the rate of change in vaccinations for a location so you can look at new doses or patients since the last period.  We also have normalized metrics to account for different populations by locations (these are expressed as patients or doses per 100,000 people). 

4. When could the pandemic end?

You can track a location’s progress to herd immunity levels.  We advocate you select a value as recommended by public health officials and track progress toward this level for your locations of interest. 

As always, the HR group has to consider if its workforce is a representative sample of the location they are associated with.  This matters because the ability of a vaccine to stop the disease is based on the assumption the inoculated population is spread out in the general population.  If employees live in a neighboring jurisdiction or are part of an eligible group that’s skipped, this could mean your workforce might not be not as vaccinated as the location data would suggest or they may be in contact with unvaccinated individuals.  

Your employees may be concentrated in a demographic group that is unvaccinated or under vaccinated. The most likely risk here relates to age; many locations will vaccinate young adults last. So if they are part of your workforce or in contact with your workforce, then high rates of vaccination are not an indicator of safety.  

5. Are rising rates of vaccination correlated with declining incidence of COVID-19?

We know from experience and mathematical modelling that proper vaccination will slow and stop the spread of the disease.  Therefore, you may want to track not only the progression of the vaccination campaigns but also the number of cases of COVID-19.  Ideally, the incidence of the disease will be anti-correlated with the number of vaccinations.  However, you may be responsible for staff in a hotspot where people are still being infected despite an active vaccination campaign.  

Further information

We’ve created an e-book to help you navigate the three stages of a crisis with the right workforce questions and data analysis.  Download it here. You may also find this checklist on Key Questions to Answer During a Crisis handy.  Check it out at this link. Looking for more resources to guide you through crisis management? Visit our Crisis Management Resource Center.

About the Author

Miles's passion for data and enabling analytics brought him to Visier. This was a change for him as he previously practiced intellectual property law, as a patent agent, in startups and multinational public companies in areas like machine learning, robotics, wearable technology, and quantum computing. Miles hikes, skis, and bikes occasionally, poorly, and slowly.

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