We were taught in kindergarten about the benefits of sharing. The same principles apply with data. This interesting topic came to us from EOS in their article, “Sharing Data Helps Puerto Ricans Rebound After Hurricane Maria.”

Sharing data enables many wonderful things. Better treatment for patients when data is shared across providers, encourages more connection and collaboration between researchers, and when it comes to disasters the response is enhanced by sharing data. Digital infrastructure designed for citizen data collection can help communities increase resilience.

In September 2017, Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico as a category 4 hurricane. Maria left a trail of devastation in its path and would go on to claim nearly 3,000 lives and leave nearly 3.4 million people in darkness. After Maria, widespread disruption of drinking water treatment and distribution systems, as well as a lack of information regarding water quality, posed a significant health risk in Puerto Rico.

An interdisciplinary team of researchers sought a solution. They developed an open-source research software infrastructure to support scientific investigation and data-driven decision-making following natural disasters.

In a time of reduced monetary investment for science and research, data sharing is more efficient because it allows researchers to share resources.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.