Building a “smart” city involves massive amount of data. For governments seeking to build such cities, the key issue is how to collect, optimize, store, process and analyze data to make models and predictions work.
If there is an open and cross-department data platform with unified data formats, it will be more convenient for authorities and the private sector to cooperate and map out more innovative and practical solutions using Big Data.
A Chinese Big Data Society was established recently. One of its goals is to build a Shenzhen-Hong Kong Big Data platform and relevant standards. I think the Qianhai special economic zone, which oversees free trade, bonded port and policy initiatives in Shenzhen, is an ideal place to build the platform.
With the rapid development of cross-border e-commerce business, Hong Kong and Shenzhen should consider building an exchangeable trade data standard as it will benefit the flow of goods, information and capital between the two places.
A unified standard makes Big Data analysis possible and will benefit e-commerce business and cross-border data development on both sides. Moreover, an open platform is necessary to make the exchange of information more efficient.
If Hong Kong and Shenzhen can have a platform to exchange trade information, and allow government authorities (e.g. the customs), organizations (e.g. data research institutions), and small businesses to take part, it will help the adoption of Big Data technologies to boost innovation in trade.
It will also support business models such as crowdsourcing, third-party payments, peer-to-peer initiatives and smart production.
Also, manufacturers from both sides can use the data on the platform to predict market trends and map out their product strategy better.
Companies will be able to identify customers’ preferences and consumption habits better, which will help the firms in developing new products and winning market share.
I believe Big Data can help boost exchange of flow of goods and capital between Hong Kong and Shenzhen.
Data is an important element in the information technology society. The adoption and research of data technology is key to a city’s competitiveness and sustainability.
The success of Big Data strategy will depend on re-integration of data, information technologies, business models and the talents.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Dec. 14.
Translation by Myssie You
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