The Challenge of Big Data for Cities
More than a buzzword for cities, Big Data is the term that describes the endless amounts of data created every day by a city's citizens, agencies, organizations, businesses, sensors, and machines. Understandably a city can struggle to reap the value of all this data. Without specially-trained staff or the latest analytic tools, it can be hard to easily understand the trends, patterns or relationships inside the data.
The value of Big Data is realized when information is extracted from the myriad sources, combined, and interpreted to uncover insights that lead to actions that make a difference in addressing the challenges facing our cities. Cities are complex, dynamic structures. With so many moving parts, they are challenging to predict. Yet, administrations are charged with managing the infrastructure and services with a goal of building a prosperous, resilient city.
One challenge is coping with contrasting areas of expansion and decline along with a diverse and changing populations. In terms of services affecting their economy, health, transportation and education are the essential services that affect anyone who lives, works, or travels in the city. All of these things are interconnected - which makes the analysis and the choice of actions more complex.