The Global Burden of Animal Diseases (GBADs) will provide data-driven evidence on which policymakers can evaluate options, base decisions, and measure the success of animal health and welfare interventions. GBADs’ Informatics theme is developing a transparent and efficient end-to-end process for identifying, analysing, visualising and sharing data to calculate livestock disease burdens, and derive models and dashboards. Together with other global burdens (human health, crop loss, foodborne diseases) they can constitute One Health data, required to address cross-cutting issues such as antimicrobial resistance and climate change.
Starting with open data available from international organisations (who are undergoing their own digital transformation), efforts to achieve an accurate estimate of livestock numbers served as a pilot, revealing difficulties in finding, accessing and reconciling data from different sources over time. Ontologies and graph databases are being developed to bridge data silos and improve the findability and interoperability of data, which can be visualised by dashboards. Data stories, a documentation website and a data governance handbook explain GBADs data, which is now available through an application programming interface. Sharing data quality assessments builds trust in the data, encouraging its application for livestock and One Health. Animal welfare data presents a particular challenge, as much of it is held privately and deliberations are ongoing as to which data are most relevant. Accurate livestock numbers are an essential input to calculating biomass, which subsequently feeds into calculations of antimicrobial use and climate change determinations. GBADs data also factors into at least eight sustainable development goals.