UPDATED 13:30 EDT / APRIL 29 2020

BIG DATA

Tresata leverages data to track coronavirus around the U.S.

Tresata Inc.’s company motto is “in data lies the power to enrich life,” and life certainly can use some enrichment these days.

The firm, which specializes in predictive analytics software to deliver actionable business insight, has developed an app called COVID Active Transmission, or COAT, to predict the next hot spots for the coronavirus. By combing through and compiling publicly available data and then applying an algorithm, Tresata’s new tool can assess on a county-by-county basis where the troublesome virus could spike next.

“Nothing was being done around reporting or using the data to predict what could happen with it,” said Abhishek Mehta (pictured), chief executive officer of Tresata. “We were able to start predicting where the virus will go. It’s our very small attempt to help the country fight.”

Mehta spoke with Jeff Frick, host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio. They discussed a new tool Tresata has created to predict virus rate decline, how the crisis will fundamentally change business models, and the importance of being there for customers.

Free to first responders

The software is available for free to healthcare organizations, government agencies, first responders, and nonprofits currently engaged in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis. COAT was launched in early April, and Tresata has also recently introduced a new velocity metric — Tresata Recovery Index — to show rates at which the virus is slowing in counties across the U.S.

“As we plan to reopen our economy and our country, these are the counties to look at first,” Mehta explained. “We are predicting there are 73 different counties that, per the government’s definition, are ready to open.”

The current crisis and his company’s response to develop data-driven tools that could potentially help millions of citizens have given Mehta a new perspective on business and the technology world.

“Data analytics, artificial intelligence, and cloud have been modernizing trends for the last 10 years, not transforming trends,” Mehta said. “This becomes a moment where business models truly get to transform. The era of anointing winners by saying, ‘Grow at all cost; economics don’t matter,’ is fundamentally over. You and I in our lifetimes will see a return to fundamentals.”

Appreciation for restaurants

Another possible outcome from the pandemic could be a newly discovered appreciation for those who manage restaurants, according to Mehta. With people forced to stay home for weeks in nearly all parts of the country and hospitals working overtime, food delivery has become more than just a nice convenience.

“The hardest thing to do in life, as I’ve been told, is to run a restaurant,” said Mehta, who expressed concern about websites where “brutal” reviews could easily be posted. “As easy as it was to complain about them, what have we done to support them? I truly hope and believe that coming out of this, those review business models don’t work anymore.”

Tresata has clients in a wide range of fields, including healthcare and the travel and hospitality sectors. Those industries have felt enormous social and economic impact as a result of the epidemic.

Mehta recently received an email from a customer in one of those industries, and it made an impression.

“He said: ‘This is a moment when a strong David can help a weak Goliath,’” Mehta recalled. “Just reading that email made me very emotional. Because there are not very many moments that we get as corporations where we can be there for our customer when they ask us to be there for them.”

Here’s the complete video interview, one of many CUBE Conversations from SiliconANGLE and theCUBE:

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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