If there’s one sector that stands to profit greatly from developments in the field of big data, then it must be the public sector. The industry perspective `Smoother, Faster, Cleaner, Safer: How Big Data’s Driving the 21st Century City’ shows why.
Public authorities are born data collectors. They have access to an unparalleled amount of information, from the most diverse sources. By enriching this information, connecting it in new ways and making interesting cross references, big data helps governments to offer citizens better, more modern services.
Imagine that citizens would use a simple mobile application that helps identify potholes and/or other unsafe road conditions. As users drive along, the mobile app collects data about the smoothness of the ride and registers nasty ‘bumps’ in the road, including the severeness of the bumps or potholes. Using the GPS, the app can exactly pinpoint where the problem is located. If just enough people would use this app, a huge amount of data would be recorded daily, thus providing the authorities with access to a complete overview of bumps in the road network.
This example, though it may appear simple at first glance, is not made up. The city of Boston has been using the Street Bump App for a while now to improve the state of its roads and squares. Based on the collected data, the City gains real-time insight into the road condition and can easily prioritize and plan long-term investments.
The Street Bump App is one of the four examples that the authors of `Smoother, Faster, Cleaner, Safer’ present to demonstrate the extent to which big data is changing our society and how it can help enhance governmental services to citizens. The other examples reveal how big data is helping governments to achieve better local authorities, cleaner railway/bus stations and safer streets.
Curious to know more about how the public sector can deploy big data? Read `Smoother, Faster, Cleaner, Safer: How Big Data’s Driving the 21st Century City’.