I attended a competition among university students from Hong Kong, mainland China, India and South Korea over the weekend. Participants were required to design a data dashboard showing life in Hong Kong in one day.
A dashboard refers to a tool that displays key data in real time.
For example, there is a dashboard in front of the driver’s seat, which tells the driver whether he or she has exceeded the speed limit, or whether the cooling system is operating normally, among other things.
Back in my time at Alibaba, we had to design a CEO dashboard, which contains key metrics such as the success rate of the payment platform, the number of successful transactions and the total amount involved, the number of complaints, etc.
In the competition, students had come up with different ideas. The following are some of the data they considered important:
- The location of recycling bins and the frequency of their use;
- Hiking routes guidelines;
- Contingency measures to deal with emergency situations on the subway;
- The number of residents queuing up for public services in different districts;
- Tourist map that tells the level of popularity and congestion in different sightseeing spots;
- A map showing the spread of highly contagious diseases.
To these students, smart city is basically about how to make life more convenient and how public services can be provided in a more efficient way.
Many cities are struggling with traffic jams, air pollution and limited land supply, and their governments are looking to use artificial intelligence and big data to help address these issues.
I believe that setting up a smart measurement mechanism, which could include a city dashboard, is the first step.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Oct 10
Translation by Julie Zhu
[Chinese version 中文版]
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