In the past, data has been important for communications and strategies around natural and manmade disasters. On a new and unimaginable scale, the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the importance of data access, sharing and analysis. This interesting information came to us from the Harvard School of Public Health in their article, “The power of data in a crisis.”

During public health crises, real-time data can help save lives—but only if governments and response agencies know how to use it.

Prior to the pandemic a very real application of real-time data’s importance is with Hurricane Maria. In the aftermath, the Puerto Rican government initially attributed just 64 deaths to the hurricane. However, the researchers found that thousands more could be tied to it indirectly. The study and the media attention that followed prompted the government to significantly revise mortality numbers. Aside from data integrity, it also had a real impact on the emergency services and support available.

Data analysis on COVID-19 is still happening and will continue for decades to come. The tangible results of that data has already helped make vaccinations and treatments available.

Making the content findable is important to knowledge management.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the intelligence and the technology behind world-class explainable AI solutions.