Data intermediaries have a symbiotic relationship with government as the source of most of their information. The open-data movement in government and development of software-as-a-service technologies shaped the data landscape after Katrina. Through relationships and talent transfers with The Data Center, the City of New Orleans went from having its chief technology officer in federal prison and its data systems in shambles to being a nationally recognized leader in open and accountable government. To be effective during disasters, an intermediary should be (1) in place and widely respected before the event, (2) ready to respond immediately after the event and for the long recovery, and (3) continually scanning the horizon for changes in data and technology.



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