With the coronavirus crisis has come a renewed emphasis on the importance of big data analytics, elevating it from an enterprise priority to something discussed at the highest levels of government. For example, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has repeatedly stressed that expertise, data, and science will be what guides the state’s response, and key members of the White House task force have expressed similar statements.

As a recent Forbes contributor piece put it, “Now more than ever, data, analytics, and expertise are of existential importance. It is not simply a matter of opinion. It has become a public and societal matter of life and death.”

And it’s not just government officials and scientists relying on big data analytics; consumers have become increasingly data-hungry as they seek to understand the latest information about the pandemic. “Flatten the curve” is now a familiar phrase, and the John Hopkins Coronavirus Dashboard has become the leading source for information.

As Forbes put it, “It is not just data scientists and data junkies who are sifting through the data trying to make sense of what is occurring around them. It is people from all walks of life, from widely diverse backgrounds, who are now grasping for data…Data has become ubiquitous…the stuff of breaking news alerts and newspaper headlines, a topic of public debate, both a panacea and a curse.”

As the world navigates the coronavirus response and plans for the future, big data analytics will continue to play a prominent role. Just like we’ve become accustomed to charts and graphs in weather forecasts or sports statistics, expect data to be omnipresent in all decisions about removing lockdown restrictions, loosening social distancing guidelines, and other related determinations.

So, what does all this mean for those of us in the data analytics industry? While it’s too soon to predict the full economic impact of coronavirus and what the business climate will be when we emerge from the crisis, it’s safe to say that companies that are nimble, adaptable, and fast-acting are best positioned for success.

According to Forbes, “In short, these are likely to be firms that are data-driven, that can react quickly to changes in the market, can seize upon opportunities, can redeploy and reposition people and assets, have learned to compete on data and analytics, and have overcome the challenges to building a well-established and lasting data culture within their organizations.”

For more on this and the role of big data analytics in successfully emerging from the crisis, you can read the Forbes piece in its entirety here.