Identifying Emerging Trends from US Gov. COVID Press Briefings using AI & ML

  • Malavika
  • May 31, 2020

In the periods of rapid change like the ones we are in during the COVID 19 pandemic, large amount of information gets generated. It is important to be able to spot policy or consumer trends to react to it most effectively.

Trends emerge not just in the matter of months or years, but also in the matter of days. We used Bewgle’s AI/ML driven analysis enging and analyzed US Government Press Briefings from Feb 29th to April 30th to identify the thrust of briefings. Bewgle not only identified the sentiment of the US government, but also key emerging topics week over week for the COVID 19 pandemic during these conversations.

Considering the dire circumstances, the sentiment for the US government has been overall on the negative to neutral side when speaking about Covid-19, with a few positive peaks corresponding to specific announcements.

Briefing Sentiment Trends by Day

For e.g. the peaks of positive sentiment on March 14th correspond to the announcement of the stimulus package which was significantly expected to help with the impact of COVID 19 , whereas the dip on April 1st, corresponds to a big spike in COVID numbers and related deaths.  Similarly the spike on April 24th/25th corresponded to the news of reopening the country.

The traditional approach – Rather unhelpful word clouds: Topic detection in text analytics is table stakes., just doing a text analysis will yield word clouds where new/substantive topics are hidden by more generic terms as can be seen from the text analysis of the Press briefings.

Output of simple text analysis of Press briefings

Emerging trends from Bewgle: However, Bewgle’s analysis identified new/ emerging topics, enabling deeper & different kind of insights with minimal effort. An emerging trends analysis of US press releases with over 30K+ lines of text show the interesting developments by week.

Emerging Trends

Emerging Trends by Week

Emerging topics by week

WeekEmerging TopicsHighlights
3/1-3/7Cruise ship, Contact tracing, Hand washing, FDA, Wage loss, CDC, Lab, Delivery, Test kitReferences to Diamond Princess Cruise shipindicate early hotspots in pandemicCDC outlines guidelines of hand washing & contact tracing for containment
3/8 -3/14Price, Lab, Hospital, School, Economy, Travel ban, Nursing home,  Partnership, Testing, Social distancingTesting and hospital preparedness  were spoken about with continued increase in casesNursing home outbreak in Seattle sees a special mention with need for social distancingAdministration announces Travel ban from many countries
3/15-3/21Temperature test, Distribution system, Respirator, Sanction, Stimulus package, Procurement, Payroll tax, Economy, Election, Mask, Airline Stimulus Package and pay roll tax holiday were announced to counter the impact of COVID on economy  Procurement concerns of Masks & Respirators were top priority
3/22-3/28Mortality rate, Swab, Gown, Church, Coronavirus task force, Logistics, Hotspot, New YorkClear hotspots in New York emerged Administration mentioned of swab tests for fast and safe testing at home
3/29-4/4N95, Jersey, Projection, Louisiana, Drug, Curve, Slide, LoanNew hotspots in Jersey & Louisiana emerged with concerning news about the projectionsRenewed focus on narcotics & drug smuggling was announced.
4/5-4/11Hydroxy chloroquine, FEMA, Vaccine, Therapeutics, Stimulus package,Hydroxy chloroquine was touted as potential drug to prevent COVID during this week. Government was upbeat about Therapeutics and development of vaccines in partnership with private companies
4/12-4/19Testing capacity, Abbott, Peak, WHO, Funding, Swabs, TravelThe Gov announced cutting of funding to WHO  There were hints of opening up travel within the country with the belief that the peak was behind us.
4/20-4/26Flu, Redfield, Humidity, Sun, Public summer, Heat, Antibody test, Hair salon, Tattoo parlor, Immigration The Gov was hopeful that with summer heat and sun, the spread of virus would be reduced. The Gov spoke about opening up the economy including high contact businesses like hair salons & tattoo parlors. The Gov also announced temporary suspension of immigration.
4/27-4/30Loan, Disability, Stimulus, Economy, Border, Quest, Nursing home residents, Airline, Test kit, Tax payer, Eye protection, Construction companies, Employment nos, Drug development, Pizza shop, Bailout, Testing plan, Laboratory modelsThe Gov was positive that the small business loans and bailouts for airlines were working well for the economy. With significant improvement in testing capabilities and tie ups with private companies like Quest, the Gov announced phased lifting of the restrictions

Organizations can utilize Bewgle to identify emerging & cooling trends by analyzing a variety of sources such as reviews, comments, social data etc at scale. Based on the vertical (E.g. Politics, Media, Consumer Product Goods etc.), trends can be identified on a quarterly, or yearly and in some instances even daily (around significant events).

Organizations need all the tools to respond to the changing environments nimbly and Bewgle is here to help.

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  • Tags:
  • AI
  • Analytics
  • Natural Language Processing
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