Many systems of socioeconomic interests find a convenient representation in the form of temporal networks, i.e., sets of nodes and interactions occurring at specified times. In the corresponding data sets, however, crucial elements coexist with nonessential ones and noise. Several methods have thus been proposed to extract a “network backbone,” i.e., the set of most important links in a network data set. The outcome of such methods can be seen as compressed versions of the original data. However, the question of how to practically use such reduced views of the data has not been tackled: for instance, using them directly in numerical simulations of processes on networks might lead to important biases. Overall, such reduced views of the data might not be actionable without an adequate decompression method. Here, we address this issue by putting forward and exploring several systematic procedures to build surrogate data from various kinds of temporal network backbones. In particular, we explore how much information about the original data needs to be retained alongside the backbone so that the surrogate data can be used in data-driven numerical simulations of spreading processes on a wide range of spreading parameters. We illustrate our results using empirical temporal networks with a broad variety of structures and properties. Our results give hints on how to best summarize complex data sets so that they remain actionable. Moreover, they show how ensembles of surrogate data with similar properties can be obtained from an original single data set, without any modeling assumptions.