3 Steps to Getting Smart Cities the Data They Need

November 3, 2016

2:20 pm

As the vision of creating a smart city using IoT and integrated communication technology has turned into reality, the access to meaningful data or open data has become a core demand. This meaningful data is the key to smart city development. Access to meaningful data will provide the people of smart cities with a citizen-specific and contextualized service environment. Cities can use an open data framework to tailor it to their specific needs. This can be a city’s infrastructure expansion, making policies or determining the investment levels for technology or solutions. Open data governance has become an essential element of the smart city service market.

Companies are now building data platforms that can provide the city with open data and thus improve the quality of their life. CIOs and CDOs must now work on developing data governance platforms that support open data governance.

In this blog, we present you with the three steps to open data governance in smart cities:

1. Create a Plan

As the complexity and volume of data are ever increasing, cities are now able to extract data from their own operations. This data which is generated from citizen’s everyday life is used by them to understand how things can become smarter. Although data mining from social media sites is not a new technique, many people are not yet comfortable with its use.

It has become necessary for CDOs to develop an inclusive smart city data governance plan. This plan should audit the usefulness of data collection. Also, it should transparently convey what and how data is being used to build trust with the citizens.

2. Build User Interfaces

With the advent of digitization, information and services are increasingly being tailored according to user needs. Digital businesses and machine learning are now allowing their services and applications to be updated in real time. But, IT planners need to develop an open environment for data translation to make it accessible to everyone. This will ensure that along with the data scientist, citizens will also have access to this data.

Take the example of Austin, Texas, where data scientists are building user interfaces that support open data governance. These user interfaces showcase data from local transport centers. Instead of showing statistics, they have built a website for commuters to make decisions about journeys based on real-time data.

3. Curate a Developer Forum

While building smart cities, one major opportunity to engage with citizens and businesses is by creating an interactive data model. Using this data model and collaborative initiatives, new ideas for the city can be developed. To support citizen entrepreneurship, from residential to business users, CDOs must build an open innovation and developer forum.

This open innovation and developer forum must be tailored to cater to the city’s requirements, which will help data scientists and application developers to create useful insights and services by studying data from open city data portals.

Thus, by focusing on these three steps you can start an open data initiative for your city.


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Monika Jha is a Seasoned Professional at Allerin, an International Ruby on Rails development & outsourcing company in India that also specializes in iOS app development. She has diversified experience of Human resource and business strategy planning with domain expertise in foreign exchange market, CRM , ERP ,E-Commerce, human resource planning, policy making and implementing. Her specialties include Web 2.0, Iphone, Agile project & release management and process management.