by Ofe Ivharue
Data will always be important whether the whole world stops because of a pandemic or people are too busy trying to get their lives back on track after a pandemic. Even in moments like that, data will play a key role in helping us make the right decisions. There is no stopping data or limiting its essence.
The first few months of the Coronavirus pandemic saw a growth in the amount of data collected either to calculate the rise or fall of the virus, to better understand the impact of the virus globally, to be privy to the mindsets of people during that critical moment, to project the future of the global economy, and so on — all to make impactful, informed decisions. Global organizations like WHO used data to understand the infection rate and behaviour of the virus which gave the world a better grasp on the risk factors and what next to do.
On a national scale, data collected during the pandemic empowered world leaders to do so much including; plan and allocate resources; strengthen border security through sorting systems that separated the infected from the uninfected; make effective lockdown decisions; carry out efficient contact tracing; and so on. Countries that were intentional about their data collection were able to respond appropriately with regards to the pandemic and their citizens.
We championed a nation-wide survey to aid the course in Nigeria and get the opinions of her citizens during the first wave of the pandemic in the country. See results here.
On a smaller scale, organizations – small, medium, large and multinationals – carried out internal and external surveys to gather data to make big decisions like how best to serve their customers and clients from afar, what next to do to remain relevant in the changing market, how to navigate the uncertain future with their current finances, and so on. Data single-handedly saved a lot of companies and ensured business continuity.
The list goes on and on, buttressing the importance of data at any point in time.
However, even as COVID-19 increased and expanded the demand for data collection, usage and sharing, it also created a behaviour shift that affected how data will be collected to stem the spread of the virus. The need to collect data without the risk of physical contact started the clamour for contactless biometric technologies that would allow organizations to capture biometric data while adhering to the stipulated safety measures — 3 feet apart, no physical contact, no surface contact, crowd control, and a whole lot like these.
In the areas of the usage and sharing of this data, the usual measures that guided data ethics still reigned supreme amidst the chaos of the pandemic, so that data would not end up causing more harm than good in combating the crisis.
Now, in what we would like to call a post-COVID world, the importance of data still stands albeit the pivotal change in the collection process and a little more stringency in the usage and sharing of the data within ethical boundaries and compliance rules. Organizations that are not aware of the nitty-gritty of this pivotal change, sadly, will fall behind other organizations in today’s rapidly changing digital economy.
As a leading organization in the data collection space and leaning on our track record of helping other organizations adhere to regulatory compliance with data collection, we will be discussing these pivotal changes and proffering effective solutions to aid your organisation to navigate the digital economy for the best outcomes
We will raise the following points;
(Register for our on-demand live webinar coming up on the 19th of September)