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Rice Using Google Cloud for COVID-19 Data Analytics

Rice University is using Google Cloud's data analytics tools to track COVID-19 cases among its campus community and make real-time decisions to keep students, faculty and staff safe. Combined with a comprehensive plan for testing, contact tracing and quarantining, the data-driven approach has allowed the institution to maintain an on-campus learning environment through the fall semester, according to a news announcement. Semester-to-date, the overall positivity rate at Rice is just 0.15 percent.

Rice worked with Google Cloud to roll out its data analytics solution back in July, including Big Query for data analysis and Looker for data visualization. For example, the university used Looker to create a publicly available COVID-19 dashboard, which provides metrics on COVID tests and positivity rates by current date, previous seven days and semester-to-date.

"Rice University is committed to education grounded in experiential learning, research, collaboration and the residential experience, but the COVID-19 pandemic created some significant challenges," said Klara Jelinkova, vice president for International Operations and IT at Rice, in a statement. "Thanks to the use of Google Cloud technology to track COVID-19 cases — and our own testing and contact tracing efforts — we were still able to preserve an immersive educational environment, providing an on-campus experience for our undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff."

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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