The Stats People named Analyst Team of the Year 2021 – COVID-19 data analysis

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Author: Gary Bennett

Award winning analysis of international Covid-19 data

New analysis of Coronavirus cases and deaths by country[1] has found that countries with tougher government Covid stringency measures had a higher number of Covid cases and deaths per head of population than those with less stringent measures, even after controlling for age and relevant health differences.

The number of reported Covid-19 cases and deaths per head were driven by how developed a country is in terms of its health, standard of living & outcomes, the proportion of the population in older age groups and the proportion of females who smoke, with government stringency of Covid response as the fourth predictor. Additionally, the number of deaths per reported cases (eliminating reporting differences) was overwhelmingly driven by population size and density, with large, sparsely scattered populations experiencing worse outcomes.

The statistical analysis was of a wider submission by Purdie Pascoe and the Stats People telling the story of Covid which won the Analyst Team of the Year category (sponsored by OPEN Health) in the BHBIA[2] Best of Business Intelligence (BOBI) Awards, which tracked Britain’s performance compared with the rest of the world. The analysis was based on a 46-week period between April 2020 and February 2021 across 169 markets[3]

A team spokesperson notes “When we consider the key drivers of cases or deaths per million, it is easy to see why the UK rates are so high. The UK is a developed country, with a high median age and a high percentage of women who smoke. The UK government has also imposed strict anti-COVID-19 measures, and these characteristics are all key drivers of high case and death rate

The submission included an interactive dashboard for each market comparing the case and death rates by market over time and with details of the key predictors by market. A second project within the submission focused on a similar analysis of difference across English Local Authority areas.

This is the full submission of the analysis I am Smarticus – BOBI Submission – 22March2021 International.

Note, the submission was made under an anonymous team brand: ‘I am Smarticus’ as per the BOBI Award competition rules.


Purdie Pascoe is market research agency focussing on the pharmaceutical, medical devices and medical diagnostic sectors. 

The Stats People is a statistical and methodological consultancy supporting clients in the survey research industry.

[1] Source: Our World in Data: Coronavirus Source Data
[2] The British Healthcare Business Intelligence Association (BHBIA)
[3] Markets with extremely small populations sizes, death rates and case rates (including China) were treated as outliers and excluded from the analysis


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