Accessing the Covid Data Lake
By Chris Dima
June 4, 2020
It goes without saying that Covid 19 related data is in high demand and several companies have built consolidated data lakes to bring as much data as possible to a single platform. At Precog we did an extensive review of options and quickly zero’ed in on the Covid Data Lake as the best available option.

The C3 data lake is notable for the quantity and quality of the data sources and the meaningful way in which it is consolidated for ease of access. Access to the Data Lake is provided via an API that C3 exposes for users. C3 also provides Python and R tools to work with the data, which is a great start, but is presumes users have the skills and training to use these more technical tools. For many non-technical  workers including healthcare, government officials, or educators this can be a challenge.

Enter Precog. At Precog we built a solution for completely non-technical users to be able to work with highly complex data sources like API’s, IoT data, NoSQL DB applications and more. The tool is simple to install and provides immediate analytic access to thousands of data sources, now including the Covid Data Lake.

To use Precog you simply download the free trial here, after installing click on the “tile” in the add data source screen, it then auto populates the data from the Covid Data Lake. Users can work with pre-populated tables, or build their own. Analytics is about getting to the exact table you need for a specific query, not how many tables you can sift thru to make a new table, so Precog makes is super simple to explore the data and build the exact table you want in minutes. Below is a short video that shows how the tool works with the Covid Data Lake.

A few other things about Precog that make it a great tool for this use case. First, Precog uses “virtual” tables, which means we don’t try to download all the data in order to use it. Any time you access a table you have built it goes directly back to the C3 Data Lake and grabs the most current data automatically, so data is always up to date. C3 is always adding new data sources to the Data Lake, and Precog will always be able to use the new sources instantly.

Precog opens up the Covid Data Lake to millions or new users that don’t have the technical expertise to work directly with the API documentation and Python tools provided by C3. So in this regard its a major enhancement for what we believe to be the best available collection of Covid 19 related data today.

You can try this by downloading a free trial of Precog here. We hope to work directly with C3 to make as many free longterm licenses available for healthcare, government and researchers as possible in the near future.


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