This Week in Data – April 3

This Week in Data – April 3:

Data is an incredibly powerful weapon in the global fight against COVID-19. We’ve collected the best resources and insights to help businesses take practical steps during this trying time.


Cloud manufacturing company pivots in COVID-19 response

The country has seen a wave of companies shift their models in reaction to the COVID-19 crisis. One of those is Rescue, a new brand created by Atelier E XD. The company usually makes beauty products, but has now moved to hand sanitizer, and already has a product in production. Rescue is using data scientists to create predictive models that forecast supply and demand for essential products, like wipes and face masks.

The coolest part? The brand established emergency product supply chains within 36 hours, as opposed to the usual 6 to 24 months. The power of data.


“With 20,000L of hand sanitizer on the way to Australia in the first week of trade, Rescue Brand has the current capacity to shift that number to 10,000L of hand sanitizer per day.”


How can governments use data to prepare for the next pandemic?

The COVID-19 response really differs from country to country. On the whole, though, this virus is not being contained the way we would like. So how can we stop that happening in the future? McKinsey lays out a game plan, and a lot has to do with the use of data and analytics. Specifically, it says international governments need a source of truth.

This virus is being blamed, in part, on globalization. But globalization may well be the answer. 


“An effective crisis response requires operations to have the latest data available—and in formats that can be shared and understood—to aid planning and the allocation of resources and equipment.”


What does data privacy look like after COVID-19?

We won’t be in this situation forever. When we emerge, the COVID-19 pandemic will make our working styles radically different. As The Mandarin points out, so will our views on privacy. As scientists have grappled with containing the virus, data sharing has soared. But how do we restore balance when things go back to normal? We need to think about post-recovery privacy now. 


“This crisis will eventually pass and, as new data challenges arise, privacy technologies must become the standard for enterprises and governments alike, to ensure we are best equipped to facilitate wide-scale privacy-enabled data collaboration before the next crisis unfolds.”


Protecting your company privacy during COVID-19

But we’re not out of the woods yet. As The Guardian explains, there is plenty of work to be done in protecting your own privacy now. Not only does that mean being up to date with terms and conditions, it also means being selective. Any employee – or employer – needs to be across minor details more than ever.


“Often default settings on these kinds of services may not be set with your privacy or security in mind, so it’s important to adjust your settings accordingly to ensure your account is secure as possible.”


EU defends Coronavirus data sharing

In response to growing concern over the way information is being shared to fight the pandemic, the European Union has issued a response: everything’s fine. The EU Privacy Commissioner pointed to existing frameworks that protect citizens, and reiterated rules that mandate any data be deleted. But, as with all things, there’s a grey area here. For now, it seems the EU is confident this information is being used in the right ways. 


“A lot depends on how the data is used.  If it is limited to creating heat maps showing where people are congregating, that might be OK. Some shopping centres already do this to show where shoppers are.”


How can companies stay data compliant during COVID-19?

If you’re wondering how businesses can stay data compliant during this time, White & Case have you covered. While they breakdown laws regarding the EU only, they’re still a good template for how businesses should be handling information: namely, whenever you collect data, make sure you conduct an impact assessment. Information doesn’t exist in a vacuum – when you collect it, you create ramifications. 


“Prior to collecting any personal data… from individuals, organisations should have a clear purpose in mind, as well as a clear understanding of what personal data and/or SCD, and level of detail, is required to fulfil this purpose.”



That’s our wrap for this week. Thanks for reading – we hope you found it entertaining and informative. We’d love to hear your thoughts on these articles and anything else data related!

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Until next week,

Team Data Republic

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