The UK government first published their official UK coronavirus / COVID-19 tracker just a few days ago. This enables following the spread of coronavirus in the UK.

I have recreated the dashboard specifically for a mobile phone (last refresh 31 Mar at 1815 UK):

The UK government provide two versions, one for desktop and one for mobile. Being regularly on the go I only use the mobile version.

I found with the official mobile version there is too much clicking to see what I want to see. In addition there are only certain regions I’m interested in; where I live and where I’m from.

Therefore I decided to see what I could do with a spare couple of hours and you see the result. Built in Tableau, this dashboard is built for use on a mobile phone.

There are some issues with the data:

  1. There isn’t a regional breakdown of cases over time. However it would be possible to save and merge all of the daily updates, eventually creating a regional update over time.
  2. The sum of the English regions / boroughs doesn’t equal the total of England. I believe this is because there’s a lag between compiling the official totals and mapping cases to a region.
  3. The breakdown of cases by region is only available for England.
  4. The UK have stopped mass testing for the virus since around the 15 March, so the validity of the numbers are increasingly called into question.

Why I designed the UK Coronavirus tracker like this

As mentioned the official government tracker for mobile phones means too much clicking. I am happy to scroll up and down on a mobile dashboard, however I don’t enjoy the user experience of horizontal scrolling or clicking / tapping to move pages.

Therefore the first change was to put it all in one long dashboard.

The first information is the date the dashboard refers to. With data that updates regularly, daily with UK coronavirus numbers, it’s important to know the relevancy of the data.

Next is the headline numbers. The UK summary and Country breakdown appear at the top, these are the big numbers most people want to know.

Following on is a cumulative new case trend, only displaying the last 2 weeks with only having a mobile phone width to use.

The Daily New Cases are interesting to see if new cases are on the rise or fall. Again this default to showing the last 14 days, but in this case I have put a toggle so, as time goes on, the user can choose the last 14 weeks.

Next I include a breakdown by region, restricted to England only due to data availability. As there aren’t many regions this sorts from the most coronavirus cases to the least. It is still easy to pick out your region(s) of interest. Select (click / tap) a region to filter the breakdown by Borough for the chosen region.

Finally there is the breakdown by borough. This is where it shows the more granular information, a user can see the cases within their local area.

I built this UK coronavirus dashboard in Tableau.

Follow the spread of coronavirus by English local authority

(This is an edit after subsequent creation tracking the growth of coronavirus by English local authority. This data wasn’t available when building the above UK dashboard.)

Also built for mobile, below see the growth of Covid 19 by local authority in England. Follow the trends of coronavirus by English local authority on a desktop here.

Coronavirus in England on a map

As everyone likes to glance at a map, find it below.

Why isn’t this included in the main mobile view? Simple; a map is something to quickly glance and see the current hot spots in aggregate. It takes up a lot of space and most people know the name of their area so finding it in a list is simple.

The mobile view is to get a more detailed view, to see the evolution and the current status together. The mobile makes it simple to know what is happening in your specific borough and the surrounding area. In my opinion this isn’t so easy on the map, where it can be fiddly to zoom in and out to the area(s) of interest.

The spread of coronavirus in England are visualised in another post, which shows the trends of coronavirus by English local authority.

The Coronavirus Data Sources

I use the data sources from the UK Govt website. In addition, to bring in the region from the borough, I use a local authority mapping file which enables mapping of the CountyUAs data to a meaningful region.

Finally to map each region to a longitude and latitude, for creating the map, the data is sourced from here.

The data appears to be released between 1800 and 1900 UK time each day. In addition updating is a manual process. Downloading the data, joining the data in Excel and then updating the data is currently all manual. Therefore I can’t promise the dashboard will update every day. It could be fully automated if I had access to Alteryx and Alteryx Server.