How has data science helped us digest and understand the huge volume of data generated by the pandemic? This question was in the center of the COVID-19 workshop, which was organized by the Center for Advanced Systems Understanding (CASUS) at the HZDR from June 5th to 7th at the cultural forum Goerlitz Synagogue. Experts from the fields of data analysis, modelling and intervention strategies met to discuss the impact of the pandemic and lessons learned for future crises.

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic had far-reaching consequences for the economy, society and the environment. It became clear how important it is to identify success factors in order to be able to tackle future pandemics in a targeted and resilient manner. Political decision-makers and public health authorities therefore need appropriate information in order to plan future prevention and intervention measures.

Through the use of advanced analytical methods, experts are able to comprehensively examine the volumes of data collected during a pandemic. They can identify patterns, trends, and relationships that provide decision-makers with targeted information. The CASUS workshop provided a unique forum for the discussion of these analyses and the exchange of findings. The focus of the workshop lay on the mechanisms of pandemics. Furthermore, the workshop discussed the economic impact and the socio-economic determinants of the COVID-19 pandemic. Different models of epidemic control and innovative approaches to infectious disease research, such as deep learning methods, were presented.

The integration of these different approaches enabled the participants to identify promising research approaches and to gain insights in the areas of data science and pandemic preparedness.