How Highly Specific Data Lights the Way Out of Crisis

Startups have actionable data for COVID, Climate and Diversity.

Sam Nattress
The Startup
Published in
10 min readJul 28, 2020


Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.”

Abraham Lincoln

From the enduring COVID-19 pandemic to the slow burn of climate change or broiling racial tension, the “real facts” will always be available to us, if there’s a will and a way to perceive them.

While high level, generic data can inform broad-brush decisions, highly specific data provided by startups is giving true insight for meaningful action on COVID-19, the climate crisis and diversity.

Getting out of these crises requires evidence-backed choices from decisions makers — and that includes you.

It might be tempting to write off “decisions makers” as a boardroom cabal of distant suits. But we all have choices to make. Every decision, big or small, affects the outcomes of the pandemic, the climate crisis and the struggle for equality.

Data startups are beginning to measure, count, compile and compute to help us make the most informed choices. From new algorithms to virtual reality and wearable tech, startups are gathering the data that can guide our actions in these crises.

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

How data helps during pandemics

During the COVID-19 pandemic, data has been the guiding light for some. In its absence, others have been lost in the dark.

The South Korean government learned the value of data — and data transparency — in the 2015 MERS epidemic.

After 36 deaths and a public backlash about the government’s lack of transparency, new legislation allowed for fast, free testing, public data sharing for contact tracing, and mandatory isolation of the most serious cases in any new pandemic.



Sam Nattress
The Startup

Top Writer Sustainability & Climate Change 🌱 Communicator for sustainability startups. 🚀 Say hi: