Date
17 November 2018
The city government of Seoul has been analyzing GPS data from mobile phones to better understand the public’s commuting needs. Photo: AFP
The city government of Seoul has been analyzing GPS data from mobile phones to better understand the public’s commuting needs. Photo: AFP

Smart city needs big data for decision-making

In last week’s Hong Kong Smart City Summit, experts discussed the basic requirements for the city to transform itself into a smart city.

Speeches made during the meeting stress the need for the government to understand how to use big data in making decisions, and that infrastructure for gathering big data plays a critical role.

I’ve worked in data committees in many cities in recent years, and found that many governments have encountered difficulties in transforming into a digital city. 

The experience from the field over the last decade shows that the transformation involves three stages, digitalization, datamation and mathematization.

With the advance of technology, the public now has higher expectations for the civil service.

Some cities are responding actively to such changes. For example, the Hangzhou government has launched a “no more than one visit” program, which allows residents to apply for government services online.

Meanwhile, the city government of Seoul has been analyzing GPS data from a large number of mobile phones to understand the public’s commuting needs at nighttime and plan the routes for bus services accordingly.

A smarter big data decision-making system is necessary for building a smart city. Different departments also have to make sure they can share data with each other freely.

London is a good example. It has taken the initiative to set up a Greater London Authority’s Intelligence Team, which aims at facilitate data sharing among different organizations.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on June 21

Translation by Julie Zhu

[Chinese version 中文版]

– Contact us at [email protected]

RT/CG

Venture Partner of Sequoia Capital China, former head of the data committee and vice president at Alibaba Group.

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