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April 1, 2020

COVID-19 Spurs Offers for Free Software, Data, and Training


Amid the daily crush of dreary news about the global viral pandemic, there is this ray of relative sunshine: Big data and analytic software vendors are offering free access to their software, data, and services.  And those who give their open source software away on a regular basis are stepping up their assistance during these irregular times.

To make the list of free software, services, and data easier to consume, we’ve split it out according to the types that are available.

Machine Learning

DataRobot is providing its AutoML platform, including Paxata data prep software, free to folks who use it to help with the COVID-19 virus response effort and are participating in the Kaggle competition, the company announced on March 20.

dotData is giving away dotData Enterprise for use in proof of concepts (POCs). Each dotData Enterprise trial will be fully guided and supported by the dotData data science team, the company says.

Mapping Tools

Esri is making its geographical information system (GIS) software available free of charge to organizations fighting COVID-19. In addition to a free six-month subscription for ArcGIS Online, the company is offering its ArcGIS Hub Coronavirus Response template.

IBM lets users track the location of COVID-19 cases through its The Weather Channel app, via its website, and through dashboards. The software uses IBM Watson to access and analyze data from the World Health Organization and multiple national, state, and local governments.


Graph Analytics

TigerGraph is offering free trials of its enterprise graph database platform for researchers doing COVID-19 research. It’s also offering a free tier of TigerGraph Cloud to local, state, and federal agencies that want to identify trends in people, locations, and supplies, as well as drugs, their properties, and connections.

Neo4j is hosting a COVID-19 hackathon as part of its Graphs4Good campaign.  The campaign runs through April 15 and is aimed at encouraging users of its open source software to share insights they’ve developed about the disease and its impact on people.

Tellic is giving researchers free access to graph.C19, a graph analytics platform that allows users to find connections in published articles. The offering exposes 12 million distinct connections across 2 million documents about COVID-19 and other coronaviruses, including SARS and MERS.

Healthcare Analytics

NVIDIA is giving away free 90-day licenses to Parabricks, a genome analysis toolkit that runs on GPUs. The offer is good for any researcher fighting the novel coronavirus.

Hospitals can get access to an AI-based software that can detect COVID-19 in X-rays. Called CAD4COVID, the software is based on an AI-based tuberculosis detection offering developed by Delft Imaging, which developed CAD4COVID with its sister company, Thirona.

John Snow Labs is offering a variety of its healthcare AI products, as well as curated heathcare datasets, free to data scientists who are actively working with COVID-19. The offer includes Spark NLP for Healthcare and its Healthcare AI Platform.


Expert System Enterprise is giving researchers free access to its Clinical Research Navigator (CRN) offering, which uses natural language processing (NLP) technology to search, filter, and cross-reference data against every major clinical trial registry, publications data base, funded research, and social media streams. The offer is good through July 1 and may be extended.


BioTeam is offering its expertise in developing HPC solutions and tasks relating to the management, movement, visualization, and optimization of data; cloud computing; optimizing workflows and pipelines free to COVID-19 researchers., which develops AI and machine learning tools, is offering up its gaggle of experts, including Kaggle Grandmasters and Masters, to help researchers mine open health data sets to find insights that can help with the COVID-1i pandemic.

Cloud Computing

Google Cloud is hosting a COVID-19 dataset and offering free access to BigQuery for users who want to analyze the data. The COVID-19 dataset contains data from the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering, Global Health Data form the World Bank, and OpenStreetMap data. Access will be free through September 15, the company says.

Alibaba and its partners, DingTalk and Alibaba DAMO Academy, are offering medical personnel battling COVID-19 free access to trials of three applications, including Epidemic Prediction Solution, CT Image Analytics Solution, and Genome Sequencing for Coronavirus Diagnostic Solution. It’s also offering access to Elastic High-Performance Computing (E-HPC) Solution for Life Sciences and DingTalk’s International Medical Expert Communication Platform.


Amazon Web Services is helping the fight against coronavirus by offering free 12-month subscriptions to the COVID-19 dataset hosted by Johns Hopkins, which includes cases, deaths, and recoveries.

Data Education

Coursera is offering any student impacted by the closure of a college or university free access to its entire course catalog, which includes 3,800 courses. It’s up to individual institutions to sign up to Coursera for Campus to gain access to the catalog for their students. Coursera is offering to sign up institutions through July 31, and students that are signed up by then will have access to the courses through September 30.

Udacity, a provider of online training for data science and other topics, is offering free access to its platform for a month. Specifically, users can get one month free access to one of its 40 premium Nanodegree programs.

DataCamp is offering free access to its catalog of 325+ data science and data analytics courses for any student who has been impacted by the closure of a school or university. The offering is called DataCamp for the Classroom.\

IT Service Desk and Messaging

Aisera is offering its virtual assistant software, which uses AI technology to help automate communication and workflows in ServiceNow, Atlassian/Jira, Zendesk, and Salesforce environments, free to healthcare providers and government agencies during the coronavirus pandemic.

Espressive is offering a free 90-day “rapid assistance program” to get users up and running with its enterprise service management (ESM) software, which uses AI technology to help organizations automate their helpdesk operations.

Push Technology is offering its real-time data streaming and messaging solution free for existing and new customers. The offer has no restrictions on message or connection volume and is good through September 30.

Lots of other software vendors and service providers are being quite generous in offering free use of their offerings during the COVID-19 pandemic. For a handy list of other types of tools that are being offered free or at a discount — including communication, collaboration, productivity and security and distance learning tools —  check out this recent article on Entrepreneur.

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