2.5 day build time
1000's of records processed daily

The Challenge


Harrow Council wanted to use Public Health England data to provide visibility of COVID cases in their authority, as well as identify new/improved locations for their mobile testing sites. They wanted to provide visualisations of case numbers by LSOA, as well as identifying case trends and monitor testing volumes and test types.


Public Health and Business Intelligence teams were under pressure, as the test data they needed to analyse was updated on a daily basis, with hundreds to thousands of records being added each morning.


The time it was taking for staff to manually analyse the data was preventing their teams responding to case changes in a timely manner.

The Solution


Sam Tizzard, GIS & Data Manager at the London Borough of Harrow, recognised that FME could help Harrow to group, sort and analyse the data from Public Health England faster than their previous process.


He created an FME Workbench that processes COVID-19 test data from Public Health England, including case numbers, testing and geolocations. Firstly, the workbench groups cases into census bounding areas. Statistics are calculated to analyse where in the Borough the Testing rates or Positive Test rates are highest, the number of tests per 100000 people is also calculated as a standard and all fed into the final output.


Once the analysis is complete, the results are output onto an interactive ArcGIS Online dashboard, where internal users can hover over an LSOA to view the results. This workspace also processes testing figures from Harrow Councils mobile test sites. Test data is separated by test type and site location, with the previous two weeks of figures being added to the finial visualisation.

The Benefits


Typically this data collection and analysis would take a staff member half a day to perform for just three Lower Super Output Areas (LSOAs). In all, the workspace behind this project took 2 and a half days to create.  The only manual process needed for this analysis is the morning data upload, as the Public Health England API isn’t currently available. Once the PHE API is live, the workspace will be upgraded to automatically pull data from this API using FMEs HTTPCaller to save staff further tasks and time.

The output from this solution can now be used internally by Harrows COVID-19 Testing Group to identify case trends by area, and mobilise testing teams in response to changes.

Early on in the COVID pandemic Harrow also used the coronavirus.data.gov.uk data API and FME to create a dynamic and daily updated dashboard for the Borough to visualise the data on COVID cases that was available only as a tabular format at the time.