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Dashboards and trackers: Covid-19 pandemic made data new normal
Dr Gupta of Johns Hopkins also pointed at the other side of data. While elaborating on how the data revolution has helped in decision making, she said the challenge is in figuring out what’s quality data. Referring to ‘democratisation’ of data, she said one has to look out for what’s reliable. She said, ‘’I think LMIC (low to middle income) countries such as India have lagged behind in collecting, presenting and sharing their data. Lack of reliable numbers to accurately portray the Covid19 pandemic may result in the dangerous equation ‘’no data is equal to no problem,’’ she said.
Also, data has revealed inequalities. As Dr Gupta pointed out, female authors trailed behind growth from male authors across all subject areas, possible because women shouldered the burden of childcare and home-schooling during lockdowns. As for the future of data, her answer is: ‘’with the pandemic hitting government budgets, funding will be the main factor that steers where research goes in the future.’’