The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a deluge of data. There are statistics everywhere you look, from the number of tests administered and cases confirmed, to the jobs lost, stimulus money spent, and Peloton bikes purchased. Understanding data feels more important than ever right now.
Since the pandemic started, Quartz has been spending an even greater share of our time confronting difficult data questions. Where do we find reliable data that show how Covid-19 is impacting the global economy? How do we know if a trend is caused by the novel coronavirus, or if it would have happened anyway? How do we appropriately describe the massive economic dip and recovery caused by the pandemic without misleading readers?
We wanted to share some of the answers we’ve conjured to these questions, which have helped us get a grip on the data deluge. We hope these answers can help you, too—not just to make sense of the pandemic, but to deal with the torrent of data we all face in our work and in our lives.