New tools are needed for malaria control, and recent improvements in malaria surveillance have opened the possibility of transforming surveillance into a core intervention. Implementing this strategy can be challenging in moderate to high transmission settings. However, there is a wealth of practical experience among national malaria control programs and partners working to improve and use malaria surveillance data to guide programming. Granular and timely data are critical to understanding geographic heterogeneity, appropriately defining and targeting interventions packages, and enabling timely decision-making at the operational level. Resources to be targeted based on surveillance data include vector control, case management commodities, outbreak responses, quality improvement interventions, and human resources, including community health workers, as they contribute to a more refined granularity of the surveillance system. Effectively transforming malaria surveillance into a core intervention will require strong global and national leadership, empowerment of subnational and local leaders, collaboration among development partners, and global coordination. Ensuring that national health systems include community health work can contribute to a successful transformation. It will require a strong supply chain to ensure that all suspected cases can be diagnosed and data reporting tools including appropriate electronic devices to provide timely data. Regular data quality audits, decentralized implementation, supportive supervision, data-informed decision-making processes, and harnessing technology for data analysis and visualization are needed to improve the capacity for data-driven decision-making at all levels. Finally, resources must be available to respond programmatically to these decisions.