This paper seeks to provide a blueprint for how the concept of data preparedness may be put into practice by members of the humanitarian data ecosystem. Data are a central component of humanitarian response. Frequently, however, there is a disconnect between data, decision-making and response. Informed decisions need to be made in the first hours and days of an emergency, and if the elements to effectively gather, manage and analyse data are not in place before a crisis, then the evidence needed to inform response will not be available quickly enough to matter. What's more, a lack of readiness to use data can even cause "big data disasters". To professionalize the use of data in humanitarian action, there are four priorities for humanitarians:
- Agree on baseline data and a model/shared analysis for translating data into needs;
- Strengthen relationships between data producers and humanitarian actors to improve data collection;
- Adopt minimum standards for data preparedness planning;
- Create a common data standards and risks toolkit.