Developer of bamatracker.com on a mission to make COVID-19 data relevant
By Jennifer Horton | July 13, 2020 at 7:27 PM CDT - Updated July 14 at 5:52 AM
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - More than a half million people visit Bamatracker.com for tables, charts, and droves of COVID-19 data. Despite the volume of clicks and scrolls, few know David Marconnet, the man who coded it all.
“I’ve just always been sort of a charts and stats kind of guy,” Marconnet explained. “It was interesting information and I felt like I could probably try to present it differently to make it easier for people to understand.”
Marconnet has no healthcare background; he’s a software and website developer who wanted more data than the state was compiling and personally took on the challenge.
“I’m not trying to present things in a positive light or negative light, I’m just trying to present the data as raw as I have it,” he stated.
Most importantly, Marconnet felt it was important to be able to track the data over time. He encourages everyone, both veterans and those who are new to COVID-19 data tracking, to pay attention to the average numbers and compare it with other data over time to see the big picture.
“That’s the reason why averages are probably the best way to look at the data changing,” he said. “I’ve tried to put a seven day average line on just about everything from tests, cases, hospitalizations, deaths, etc. so we can at least go back and say, Okay, a couple of weeks ago we were here, and now we are here.
In addition to state and county data, visitors can create their own datasets by charting out the increase in cases, tests, deaths, and averages among multiple counties. For those who recently started following Alabama’s numbers, there’s a real-time automation that shows how the disease has spread in each county since March. Back then, Marconnet wasn’t sure how long this project would last.
“I felt like it could have fizzled out, I wasn’t sure what was going to happen with summer,” he admitted. “I think everyone was sort of wondering if the temperatures were going to make a difference, it doesn’t seem like they have.”
If you visit the website, you'll quickly notice there's nothing but numbers. Marconnet doesn't make a penny off this project.
“I’m not really trying to make any money,” he stated. “This was never a goal, so ads are pointless to me, they’re just going to clutter up the UI and take away from the presentation of the data in my point of view.”
But if you insist on showing your appreciation, there’s a link at the bottom of the homepage to buy him a coffee.
“I’ve had some people do that and it’s a nice gesture,” said Marconnet.
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