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April 21, 2020

Real-Time Alerts and COVID-19: Planning for the "Next Normal"

At Dataminr, we use our own real-time alerts day in and day out. Thanks to our early alerts on the spread of COVID-19, we had an early warning to make the decision to proactively close our offices and shift our teams to working entirely from home, ahead of a wave of self-quarantining measures in the states and the countries we operate in. By this point in mid-April, we’ve fully settled into the temporary working situation that is common in the corporate world right now—working from the safety of our homes, spending ample time on video calls, and juggling the chaos that comes with the sudden merger of our home and work lives.

But we all know that this state is not permanent, even as we grow to understand and accept that this temporary situation is going to persist considerably longer than many of us expected. So right now, before we get too comfortable, it’s time to start planning for the “next normal” and ensure that we have the right information at hand to make the smartest proactive decisions.

We will need to decide when and how to unwind the temporary policies that have been put in place in response to the COVID-19 crisis. When do we reopen offices and allow employees to return to the workplace? When does that return become a mandate? When do we allow business-critical travel? What about regular business travel? When and where will we host or attend large-scale events again?

It’s a similar story with our customers, many of whom relied on our real-time alerts to make faster, better-informed decisions in the early days of the COVID-19 crisis, to protect their employees, customers and partners. There is a common thread that runs through how our customers are reacting to COVID-19—organizations are identifying their unique set of risks and using real-time information to inform their decisions. Our customers are now turning to the important work of helping the world recover from the pandemic, whether that’s by enabling social distancing through remote work, or by making responsible decisions that keep their frontline employees safe while providing lifesaving, essential services.

Global enterprises tell us they’re using Dataminr’s real-time alerts to stay up-to-date on international developments and regulatory decisions that could impact their supply chains. Large retailers providing essential goods and services tell us their risk management teams use Dataminr alerts to get an on-the-ground look at conditions inside their stores, as people upload photos of empty shelves.

And while many millions of workers are now working from home, many of our largest customers are essential businesses that need to remain open—think hospitals, pharmacies, retailers, energy companies, IT and telecommunications companies. Essential businesses use our alerts to understand the severity of new viral outbreaks regionally and to assess the risk to their own personnel.

The one common theme across all our customers is that fast, accurate and relevant information is a crucial element to that decision-making.

“First, let me say how absolutely invaluable Dataminr has been in helping me manage our people and response in light of COVID-19,” a crisis manager at a large global nonprofit told us recently. “With so many changes happening so quickly it is very difficult to keep track of it all.

“However, I discovered with Dataminr I was often several hours ahead of our personnel who live in those countries, in learning what new policies were about to take place so they could take appropriate measures. In fact, many of them joke that I’m clairvoyant. (I’m not, of course, but Dataminr is). Anyway, just wanted to say that from the epicenter of the crisis, your team has been invaluable in helping me to do my job and keep my people safe, and I am truly grateful for that.”

As we look forward to collectively defining and responding to the “next normal,” being alerted to accurate information in real time will be critical to shifting our policies, people, and assets in a manner that allows proactive decision-making to stay safely ahead of the curve.

Topic(s): featured , Corporate Risk

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