Date
12 December 2018
Big data makes it easier for city authorities to plan for future needs and mapping out policies. Photo: Bloomberg
Big data makes it easier for city authorities to plan for future needs and mapping out policies. Photo: Bloomberg

Big data is the foundation for building a smart city

Smart-city initiatives in different places around the world have their own features but also share some trends, such as the emergence of new applications based on data.

A city is a diversified ecosystem. The gathering of big data would enable city managers to understand and analyze future trends when they do city planning.

But data generated from civil services is not very big. Regulators need to coordinate with corporates and public organizations in order to get enough data to tell the whole picture.

My own experience shows that we should pay special attention to three categories of social data, namely mobile devices data, payment data, and location information on map.

Almost all cities have tight budgets. Given this, it’s important to find out the level of demand and allocate resources accordingly.

Traditional ways of collecting data, such as surveys, are costly and time-consuming. The advent of big data era has changed the way data is generated.

Since artificial intelligence technology has been infused into various aspects of a city, from transportation, power supply, security, shopping and payment, they become valuable sources of data.

Interestingly, we are becoming data providers as well as data users. For example, when I drive to work using GPS, I use the data of, say, the people who drove past the same route 10 minutes ago. I’m also generating data and contributing to the pool for other drivers.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Nov 20

Translation by Julie Zhu

[Chinese version 中文版]

– Contact us at [email protected]

RC

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

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