I caught COVID19 in March, a few weeks after breaking my arm badly enough to need surgery. I made it through, but along the way, and with the perspective afforded by a lot of time on the couch and away from the day-to-day business of Quantellia, I became galvanized to do something about other COVID sufferers like me.
Reading up on the disease and interventions, I noticed that the great COVID19 models from around the world were not accessible in a unified way that made them easy to use by decision makers. It left an important type of question unanswered, like, “How can I translate my county’s COVID19 incidence prediction into a decision about when to open up, with my particular local characteristics?”, and “What combination of interventions are going to be the most effective in my situation?”
I realized that these were typical decision intelligence (DI) questions. I have been evangelizing DI for over ten years, with appearances on NPR, CSPAN, in Information Management magazine, Forbes, and Ethical Corporation, a widely read book, and finally decision intelligence is on the Gartner Hype Cycle. It’s also starting to take off particularly strongly in Japan.
DI is a discipline that answers this question:
“If I take this action today, what will be the outcome tomorrow?”
DI was specifically designed for situations where this is a hard question to answer, because the action plays out over time, invisibly, with winding roads like feedback effects, virtuous and vicious cycles, and intangible impacts.
Coughing hard one day, I realized: that’s a perfect fit for COVID19, which asks:
“If I go to the grocery store today, will I end up killing people if I don’t wear a mask?”
“If I send my child back to school in the fall, will this put anyone at risk?”
“If I install UVC lights in my HVAC and hire bouncers to enforce social distancing, and insist on masks and take temperatures, will people get sick?”
As you can see, each of these questions fits the DI form: “If I take <these actions>, then what will be the outcome?”
So, honestly, this felt like my life’s work. Although I coughed a few hours each day while sick, I did have some time to work and think. So, with the support of my visionary colleagues at my company Quantellia, I set to coughing and coding a prototype.
This web site is the culmination of that effort, and this blog will track our continuing journey as we continue to pivot into a COVID focus as a company (for now at least, pandaa-sim.com is not its own company, just a place for our COVID19-focused work).
As I write these words, the prototype is close to ready for beta testing. So I hope in the next few days to tell you about it, and to let you run the consumer version from a page here in the site.
Friends, please take a moment to click “Subscribe” in the link above, giving me permission to let you know about our important work with decision intelligence for COVID19.
Our goal is, simply put, to affect at least two billion lives, and to save as many as we can, through providing a “COVID flight simulator”. More about that soon!