Random Analytica

Random thoughts, charts, infographics & analysis. Not in that order

Month: September, 2014

Random Analytics: Ebola in West Africa – HCW Impacts (to 14 Sep 2014)

Yesterday I did a lengthy post on some of the Workforce Planning considerations that need to be considered in the fight against the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak currently underway in West Africa. One of my key recommendations to those with an ability to elicit change was to put more focus on data-gaps in a range of key job roles, rather than just counting the HCW dead.

One of the issues that I discovered during my writing yesterday is that if I was a Workforce Planner working on the requirements of this outbreak I need to start to split my base level, or Hard-to-Fill (HtF) roles into another group. The new group would be defined as Hard-to-Replace (HtR) roles, which is a role that has become highly risk adverse to long lengths of medical treatment or fatality. The EVD outbreak has, to 14 September 2014 claimed more than 150 Health Care Worker lives and infected more than 300 including some of the Operationally Critical Job Roles (OCJR) in a region which was largely devoid of a depth of professional skill-sets, especially those with health training.

In response to the lack of publically sourced infographics in this space I thought I would complete something new which focussed on Health Care Workers. The term Health Care Workers is a Job Family and a very high level broad brush. It would be more relevant, given the loss of hundreds in this skill-set to start concentrating on how many Specialists, GPs and Nurses that we needed to replace.

That aside, the three most impact countries are Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia have lost more than 300 Health Care Workers to EVD in recent months. Here is an infographic to emphasise the losses on the ground:

1 - EbolaInWAfrica_HCW_Sep2014

Here is the data from the most recent update provided by the WHO:

2 - EbolaInWAfrica_HCW_WHOUpdate_140914

In summary I would like to congratulate the WHO on their fantastic epidemiological data that comes out of their offices in what some are calling the worst health disaster in many generations. My main contention from my PeakJobs piece was to suggest the need for updating the global public, not only in the lagging indicators (such as the deaths of individuals or HCW’s) but to also emphasise the demand analysis side.

Demand analysis of recent losses and a massive surge in HCW resources in the fight against EVD will stop the outbreak, treat the infected more efficiently, assist with essential services (such as sanitation and logistics), preserve stability and prevent further outbreaks.

All the things that the UN suggested were possible with Resolution 2177.


Data Sources

[1] United Nations Security Council. With Spread of Ebola Outpacing Response, Security Council Adopts Resolution 2177 (2014) Urging Immediate Action, End to Isolation of Affected States. Accessed 20 September 2014.
[2] World Health Organisation. Ebola Response Roadmap: 28 August 2014. Pg. 5. Accessed 5 September 2014.

Random Analytics: Ebola in Liberia (March to 11 Sep 2014)

The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in Liberia has just updated their Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) data up to and including cases and fatalities to 11 September 2014. When I did my last update on 19 August 2014 I made note that the case numbers had topped 1,000 and deaths were nearing 600. As you can see by the following infographic the clinical cases have now breached 2,500 and the deaths have more than doubled to more than 1,300.

7 - EbolaInLiberiaSep2014(P)

Updating the Ebola in Liberia infographic for September on my Random Analytics site forced me to look back at the data story for that country which has been fluid with a lot missed opportunities and a lot more that has gone down the memory hole. I thought it might be worthwhile putting together a short montage of my data stories which focus on the cases and fatalities since the start of the outbreak by month.

I think the biggest data point’s for me is the fact that EVD hit Liberia, effectively disappeared from a data and a policy perspective then mysteriously came back with a vengeance. It doesn’t make any sense to me and I think represents a massive own goal by the Liberian government as well as a lack of situational awareness by the intergovernmental bodies which were set-up to ensure that these type of situations don’t spin out of control.


Data Sources

[1] d-maps.com. Liberia / Republic of Liberia. Accessed 22 August 2014.
[2] Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. Liberia Ebola Sitrep no. 119. Government of Liberia. Accessed 15 September 2014.

Random Analytics: The West African Ebola Outbreak (to 31 Aug 2014)

Here are three updated charts of the 2014 Ebola Virus Disease outbreak using a number of primary sources including the most recent World Health Organisation Disease Outbreak News (DON) released 4 September 2014 with data to the end of August. As new updates occur I try to update the charts and promulgate via Twitter.

***** Please note that all EVD infographics in this series were updated with public source information to 4 September 2014 *****

Ebola (Top 10 Outbreaks by Case Numbers)

01 - Ebola_Top10OutbreaksByCaseNos_140905

The first chart displays the top 10 outbreaks in order of case numbers. Each horizontal bar is filled with the flag(s) of the country where the outbreak occurred. In the case of the West African outbreak there are now five countries involved and the flags are in number of cases order.

With clinical cases now reaching more than 3,700 the West African outbreak has now become largest Ebola outbreak in history based on both case numbers (3,707) and fatalities (1,848). The second largest outbreak was of Ebola Sudan which occurred in Uganda (2000) when 425 became infected and 224 died. The recent outbreak is the first to migrate across international land borders. The only other recording of an EVD that jumped borders prior to this outbreak was the Gabon/RSA (1996) outbreak. In that instance a doctor caught the disease in Gabon and subsequently took an international flight to South Africa where he became ill and infected other Health Care Workers (HCWs).

Ebola (Cases by Classification and Year)

02 - Ebola_CasesbyClassYear_140905

The second chart shows cases by classification (in order they are Ebola Zaire, Sudan, Bundibugyo, Reston and Ivory Coast) by year and then split into those recovered or those deceased (which follows in a red variant). The combined West African and DRC outbreaks has become the most significant in terms of case numbers by year, eclipsing the 1976 dual outbreaks (Zaire and Sudan) which saw 603 cases and 431 deaths (a combined Case Fatality Rate of 71.5%).

On a side note I really need to re-organise this chart to display 2014 horizontally because the sheer size of the outbreak has destroyed any clarity of previous years. A project for next week.

Currently the provisional Western African outbreak has seen 3,760 cases and 1,861 deaths (a CFR of 49.5%).

Notes: Several years had just one case. They are 1972 (a retrospective fatality of Ebola Zaire in Zaire), 1977 (a single case of Ebola Zaire in Zaire), 1988 (an accidental infection of Ebola Zaire in Porton Down, UK) and 2011 (a single fatality of Ebola Sudan in Uganda).

The West African Outbreak – Cases & Fatalities by Month

03 - WestAfrica_Cases~FatalitiesMonth_140905

The final chart shows both case numbers and fatalities by month. Each column is split into the five impacted countries with data visualised by the varying national flags.

Although I am only an amateur epidemiologist this has been a very telling chart and details how the epidemic curve has continued to increase over time. According to predictions by the World Health Organisation the outbreak may continue to grow and infect up to 20,000 persons so we are more than likely to see a further increase in both case and fatality numbers in September.


If you are interested in following this developing story I would suggest you follow/read Helen Branswell (Canadian health journalist for the in-depth stories) or Crawford Kilian and his excellent health related blog for all the big health related chatter including links to key Ebola persons and organisations.

For really good analysis and consistently updated charts in professional charting software (Tableau, Piktochart et al) I favour fellow Queensland Ian M. Mackay and on the other side of the Pacific pond, Maia Majumder. I do a range of other infographics (I like to think of them as data paintings) including analysis in the Flublogia space, when I find the time. My last health related piece was on Ebola in Sierra Leone.


Data Sources

[1] World Health Organisation. Ebola virus disease outbreak – west Africa: Disease Outbreak News – 4 September 2014. Accessed 5 September 2014.
[2] World Health Organisation. Ebola Response Roadmap: 28 August 2014. Pg. 5. Accessed 5 September 2014.

Random Analytics: Ebola in Sierra Leone (to 31 Aug 2014)

I noted recently that Crawford Kilian (whom I now read almost daily to give me a break from my current Workforce Planning responsibilities) stated that the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation had moved from an adhoc social media channel to a more developed website and it was very good.

I completely concur.

The Ministry of Health and Sanitation for the Sierra Leone Government has recently updated its Situation Report (SITREP) on the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) to the 31st August 2014. It is recommended viewing but here is an infographic of the situation, along with a data review for the Government of Sierra Leone for consideration (the latest update comes with a data anomaly) and a couple of laymen questions.

01 - Ebola_SierraLeone_140903

The Ebola in Sierra Leone (by District) infographic details the cases and fatalities from EVD including probable and suspected cases. Each District which is impacted by is listed with each figure representing 10x lives and then colour coded (see notes). The provisional CFR is based on total numbers and might not represent the Ministry of Health and Sanitation figures.

It should be noted that the outbreak is ongoing so these numbers are still very provisional.

2 - SierraLeone_StatsByDistrict_140903

The next is a table which highlights a very minor data anomaly (in red), which I will pass on immediately to the staff at the Ministry of Health and Sanitation.

Data anomaly aside, I hope that my small intrusion into their daily (and more important work that I am currently completing) adds some value. I know that the Ministry is under huge pressure and that their work truly does matter.

Final Thoughts, Predictions or Problems:

I’ve no problem with the data-cleansing itself anymore, outside of a small anomaly. The Sierra Leone government should be congratulated on its better presentation of the data, especially given its background story, low infrastructure prior to this new medical crisis and recent history in terms of civil war etc.

Yet I find some issues with the current data presented. I’m sure there are answers to these issues but there are questions that must be answered:

The Confirmed Fatality Rate for the most impacted regional Districts seems reasonable given the economic constraints of the country. I note the Districts of Kailahun and Kenema have a current total provisional CFR in the 40-percentile range. Yet, a couple of questions:

  • The current CFR in Western Rural is 3.9% (yet including all cases is 57 including four deaths with a CRF of 7%; both totals seem a bit low; and:
  • The big unexplainable for me is the CFR in Port Loko which the latest update currently states is just 2.9%. Given that when I last looked at the data (to 13 August) the CFR was 12% with 25-cases there has been either an anomaly with the data or a health deployment that I am not yet across.

Data Sources

[1] d-maps.com. Africa: states, main cities. Accessed 28 August 2014.
[2] d-maps.com. Sierra Leone / Republic of Sierra Leone: boundaries, districts, main cities. Accessed 2 September 2014.
[3] Ministry of Health and Sanitation. Ebola Virus Disease – Situation Report (Sit-Rep) – 01 September, 2014. Sierra Leone Government. Accessed 2 September 2014.

Random Analytics: Australian Mining Employment (Aug 2014)

Mining continues to play an important part in the overall economy of Australia. For all of the discussion about the sector many people don’t realise that mining only employs 264,400 (source: ABS). This is just a fraction of Australia’s total labour force and even that number is often conflated given that many who work in mining are employed on infrastructure or services activities rather than directly in operations.

Each month I spend some time collating stories from a wide range of industry and media sources to build some analytics around the current state of mining employment in Australia. The month of August 2014 was quieter than previous months when more than 3,000 jobs were lost in June and another 1,000+ in July yet at the end of August we still saw more jobs lost than gained.

Here are the charts for Australian Mining Employment through to the end of August 2014.

1 - MiningJobsByState_Infographic_Aug2014_140901

The opening infographic looks at total job gains and losses by State or Territory for the month of August. Where a job cannot be affixed to a certain site then the losses or gains are attributed to Australia (Non Specified).

Data-Points: Queensland was the only state to lose more jobs than it gained, while New South Wales and Western Australia picked up a small amount each. Two Australian companies, ResCo and Bluestone Global, cut 330 staff across the country.

2 - MiningGainsLosses_Chart_140901

The first employment chart looks at the previous 24-months from a total mining employment gain and loss perspective. The positive employment numbers are split into those that reflect infrastructure (tan) and operational (blue) gains. Job losses are then split into operational (red) and mining services (maroon). Mining services can include mining specific service centres, distribution, back-office functions and transport (thanks to learitee from the Australian Mining online community for the suggestion).

Data-Points: All of the 520 job gains in August were operational including the Baralaba North Coal expansion (QLD, Coal, 200); Maules Creek (NSW, Coal, 100) and I’ve included the 120 staffers at the recently opened QCLNG Gas Operations Hub. On the minus side Peabody Energy cut 350 staff from Burton Coal (QLD) including 100 contractors by text message and Glencore cut another 100 from its Newlands Coal (QLD) site.

3 - MiningResourceGainsLosses_Chart_140901

The next employment chart looks in more detail at the main resource types (Iron Ore, Coal, Gold/Copper, Zinc/Lead/Nickel, CSG/LNG and Uranium) by either a job gain or a loss.


  • Although Coal gained 300-jobs it also lost 466 making this the 26th consecutive month of losses in that resource type;
  • Across the six resource types there was actually a gain of 6-jobs overall.

4 - MiningSectorSentiment_Chart_140901

The last chart tracks employment gains and losses sentiment and is now back dated to October 2011.

Data-Points: Sentiment took a slightly negative turn this month even with a lot of positive news including final approvals for Adani’s Carmichael Coal (QLD) and other smaller sites. With iron ore now touching on $80pmt during the month it has been hard to generate much good news in the West and Venture Minerals Riley Iron Ore (TAS) has deferred its project claiming approvals delays on top of poor pricing.

Another interesting point is that now I’ve pushed back the sentiment to Q4 2011 you can now see a lengthy period of good sentiment. That period of positive sentiment represented the sustained period of growth following the global recession stimulus package implemented by the Chinese several years before.

Juking the Stats (August 2014)

WorleyParsons again cut a significant amount of jobs across its global network. Recent news reports are stating they cut 1,700 jobs this year yet my research tells me the number is more likely to be 1,900. Furthermore this is the latest in a tranche of cuts and I believe they are close to cutting 4,800 since late 2012. WorleyParsons always discuss global job-cuts but given that most of their losses are currently occurring in Australia I suspect the bulk of recent layoffs would be amongst Australian employees. No journalist that I can see has put that question to them.


Not the best month but neither was it the worst. I continue to see trouble brewing if the iron ore price remains at $80pmt so I would be keeping a weather-eye on that over the next couple of months.