#Meta_Data: The Pros of Proactive vs. Reactive Data

Putting the ‘Pro’ in Proactive Data-based Decision-Making

Data collection and analysis — particularly in public health — is more often than not a very reactive process: new disease outbreak is discovered, data gurus track it and generate reports, decision-makers largely ignore said reports, and the process continues. But what if we lived in a world where all-things-data became more proactive vs. reactive? Well, data-loving friends, that’s just the world we’re building over here at Standard Co HQ.

Not all reactive data is “bad”, mind you. When developing products or services, for example, it is imperative to collect reactive data from customers to inform future decision-making: do people like this? Should we keep making/doing it? Is there a better product/service out there? Conversely, if we made product development decisions solely on proactive data, the world would’ve never known the Tamagotchi (no data could possibly explain why children would want to feed and praise a digital, pocket-sized pet…).

However, considering life or death decision-making (a la global health crises, environmental turmoil, etc.) we need better, more proactive data to make better decisions, faster. If we’re collecting data on a virus that is already at critical mass or surveying microplastic PPM in seawater samples, the problem is already beyond the point of preemptively solving. In the case of plastics, proactive data likely would’ve indicated that marketers should never have associated the word “disposable” with a product designed to be largely indestructible. In the case of the pandemic, non-reactive case data could’ve helped contain the spread of coronavirus. What a world that could be.

To put our money where our mouths are, we’re overhauling our COVID Mapping Project to meet this very need: providing a tool for real-time proactive data-based decision-making. Think: you’ll wake up, scroll through the news (Instagram), and flip open COVID Mapping Project before selecting your outfit for the day. You’ll be met with a series of risk assessment gauges specific to your location, each indicating threat levels of respiratory viral infections in your area — crawl right back in bed, you’ll be working from home today.

And that’s just one example of how we’re setting the Standard for proactive data-based decision-making.


We’ve compiled the stories below for your perusal, intelligence-building, and overall enjoyment.

The Race to Better Outcomes
The tools that create the best outcomes will win the data race. Psst: Standard Data.

Tableau is the Latest Slacker
Per its mission to “help people see and understand data”, Tableau’s new Slack integration has everyone rethinking “agile” analysis.

40,000 Years of Data Visualizations
Humans, wired for storytelling, have been creating data visualizations for as long as we’ve roamed the planet.

Census Consensus
Four American University students, faculty, and The Opportunity Project hope to raise the bar for K-12 teachers by using census data to promote data literacy education in classrooms.

T-Rex Tech
Our friends at Tyrannosaurus Tech sat down with TJ Muehleman to discuss entrepreneurship, taking risks, betting the farm, and building products now used in over 60+ countries worldwide.


Fresh or Canned?


Be sure to take a look at our latest video venture: #DataintheWild, where we break down real-world data happenings, case studies, and topics for your entertainment and practical benefit.

In this episode, TJ Muehleman discusses the future of COVID Mapping Project — essentially, creating a one-stop shop for respiratory virus risk levels in your own backyard.


We get it. No, really. We do this.