Grappling with big data
Those who are pushing governments to establish Smart Cities also want to know how they would utilise the huge amounts of data generated by Internet of Things sensors embedded on highways, railways and sewerage lines. Success or failure of building…

Those who are pushing governments to establish Smart Cities also want to know how they would utilise the huge amounts of data generated by Internet of Things sensors embedded on highways, railways and sewerage lines.

Success or failure of building a digital society depends on how the data would be converted into actionable data. What is required is to provide business analytics that are relevant to make decisions.

Data analytics can result in real-time actionable decisions that are important in running efficient Smart Cities with accountability and transparency.  IoT technology should be utilised to benefit the people.

In other words digital tools alone would not be sufficient to build Smart Cities. There is a whole range of interconnected issues of governance whose focus should be solely on the welfare of the citizens.

Smart City evangelists are also involved in measuring the ‘smartness’ of cities by using tools to measure citizens’ perception of well-being.

Thanks to sensors and IoT, it is possible to collect data, but one wonders whether it possible to measure the quality of life through numerical parameters?

In Europe, experts are trying to identify the best indexes for urban smartness. But they say that there is a lack of information. It calls of   generation of open data that should be made available to anyone to analyse.

They say that there are more gaps in the energy sector than in mobility or information technology, despite power supply being a strategic priority in every country.

Smart Cities should mean better services for citizens, more responsive administrations and less impact on the environment.

Many attempts have been made to collect data across the 34 countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on issues such as access to services, civic engagement, environment, individual income, employment and education.

Miimu Airaksinen, a Research Professor at the Finnish Technical Research Centre, has been trying to develop performance indicators and data collection procedures to monitor and compare Smart City solutions across European cities.

She said instead of Internet of Things,   we should be focussing more on the Internet of meaningful Things. The challenge is how to correlate the numerical results of indexes with the real perception of quality of life.

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