Schulich professor receives Award of Excellence for developing global COVID-19 dashboard

Professor Murat Kristal recognized with the Minister’s Award of Excellence. (Courtesy of Schulich School of Business)

Schulich professor Murat Kristal, director of the master of business analytics program (MBAN), and director of the master of management in artificial intelligence program (MMAI) has been awarded a Minister’s Award of Excellence from the Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities, for his work in developing a global COVID-19 analytics dashboard. 

The dashboard traces the dynamics of the current global COVID-19 pandemic, and is able to predict numbers of COVID-19 cases both globally, nationally, and regionally. It has allowed for a greater insight into the projected spreading of the virus, and has allowed authorized individuals to make policy and health decisions based on the evidence provided by the dashboard, which can be accessed here. This analytics dashboard projects numbers up to five days ahead of time, and is updated daily during the current pandemic. 

“We felt that it was important to provide the general public, health care professionals, and other decision makers with an analytical tool that is updated daily to provide them with accurate numbers into the near future,” Kristal explains. “We use the data that is publicly available and we update our models and results on a daily basis in order to provide an accurate picture of what’s happening around the world and in Canada.” 

The dashboard was created by Professor Kristal, Dr. Hjalmar Turesson, and David Elsner. Turesson and Elsner are both also involved in the MBAN and MMAI at Schulich School of Business. Kristal acknowledges that the recognition for both him and his team was warmly welcomed. 

“The most important thing in such a project is the team spirit, and I feel very lucky to be working with great colleagues such as Elsner, and Dr. Turesson,” says Kristal. 

    “The analytics dashboard not only helps policy makers, healthcare administrators and public officials make informed decisions about COVID-19’s spread, but is also an example of the type of cutting-edge research taking place at Schulich in business analytics and artificial intelligence.” 

Interim Dean of Schulich School of Business Detlev Zwick extended his congratulations to the minds behind the dashboard for their cutting edge work, and for their acknowledgement from the Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities. 

“On behalf of the entire Schulich community, I wish to congratulate Professor Murat Kristal on receiving an Award of Excellence from the Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities for the development of an analytics dashboard that provides daily insights into the spread of COVID-19 in countries around the world,” Zwick says. 

“Congratulations as well to the team at the Schulich Deloitte Cognitive Analytics and Visualization Lab, including Deloitte scientist Hjalmar Turesson and instructor David Elsner for their role in assisting with the development of the dashboard,” Zwick adds.

“The analytics dashboard not only helps policy makers, healthcare administrators and public officials make informed decisions about COVID-19’s spread,” Zwick says. “But is also an example of the type of cutting-edge research taking place at Schulich in business analytics and artificial intelligence.” 

The dashboard is now used globally, and Kristal’s goal is that it helps not only government and health officials, but also the general public make informed decisions about the ongoing pandemic. 

“I hope we are able to provide some insight to the people who are using our dashboard in these difficult times,” Kristal says.

About the Author

Sarah Garofalo

By Sarah Garofalo

Assistant News Editor

asstnews@excal.on.ca

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