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How Does Data Analytics Help in Smart City Development?


October 19, 2021

Data Analytics

Growing public awareness of environmental sustainability, carbon emissions, and a variety of other issues is causing governments to recognize the need of creating people-centered cities, i.e., cities designed around citizens rather than cars or businesses. These ‘smart cities’ are considered to represent a future trend in urban planning and are essential for tackling urban problems. Data analytics, on the other hand, is a big part of this new design trend. Data analytics plays a critical role in assisting cities in becoming carbon-neutral, improving urban transportation, and managing their infrastructure in a secure, long-term, and cost-effective manner. Data analytics is a crucial component in smart city planning.

The rising number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices distributed throughout the urban environment has the potential to alter our perceptions of how cities operate. Big data analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and data visualization are all advancing, giving municipal administrators and leaders tools to help make sense of these data flows. Simultaneously, cities are building new data integration and sharing platforms, which are breaking down conventional operational silos and allowing all stakeholders and prospective solution suppliers access.

As a result, big data’s advantages are a critical component of many smart city initiatives. Predictive analysis of traffic and transportation patterns, for example, can reduce congestion and improve the efficiency of public transportation services, city resources for public safety, social care, and other key services can be targeted more effectively using up-to-date analysis, energy efficiency programs can be directed at the most vulnerable households and buildings suitable for retrofit programs and open data platforms can increase citizen engagement and encourage new ideas.

All elements of public service and city management can benefit from data analytics. The following are some examples. The transition to carbon-free cities: Advanced data analytics are critical for cities, utilities, and other partners to optimize energy and resource flow to fulfill their lofty zero-carbon goals. The efficient administration of community energy systems based on distributed renewable energy, storage technologies, and microgrids, for example, requires analytics. Energy data is being used in a sustainable energy management system (SEMS) that optimizes energy production and consumption at the community level, according to projects like the EU-funded sharing cities program (headed by London, Milan, and Lisbon). The SEMS also connects to the larger urban data platform that is being created as part of the project.

Transportation departments in cities have been pioneers in the use of sophisticated analytics. Real-time data from sensors and other devices is assisting in the optimization of links across modes of transportation for quicker travel times, lower operating costs, and increased customer convenience through improved information services. As part of its traffic control system, Hangzhou, China has implemented Alibaba’s city brain platform to forecast traffic patterns and identify accidents. It says that as a result of this platform, the city has moved from 5th to 57th place on the list of China’s most crowded cities. Telephone data is also being used by communication companies to assist alleviate congestion.

Cities may utilize data analytics to better monitor and manage a variety of civic infrastructure, as well as employ predictive maintenance to decrease risks and costs. Kansas City, Missouri is saving US$1 billion in infrastructure expenses connected with a US$4.5 billion smart sewage improvement project by combining data analytics and sensor technology with green infrastructure. New insights into economic performance are also being gained through data analytics. Dublin, Ireland is one of a handful of cities that Mastercard has partnered with as part of its City Possible project. Mastercard’s city expenditure studies are being utilized in the city council’s economic monitoring reports to assist the council in better understanding Dubliners’ and visitors’ spending habits and comparing Dublin’s performance to that of the rest of Ireland.

Although there is enormous potential for greater data usage across all local services, city managers must also overcome several key difficulties. Some of these issues, such as maintaining data quality and identifying the key objectives for every application, have long plagued large-scale data analytics initiatives. Some specific problems come with utilizing big data and data analytics for municipal administration.

The smart city concept promises to integrate data from several sources, including numerous organizations, different surroundings, and a wide range of intelligent gadgets. Even Nevertheless, data integration within organizations is one of the most difficult IT issues. Technical obstacles have been lowered by the adoption of open standards throughout the IT and communications industries, but political and organizational barriers are typically the most difficult to overcome. The present emphasis on creating standards to guide smart city development is a significant step toward addressing these challenges.

The rise of smart cities has ushered in a slew of new data streams with enormous promise for improving local services. This also puts cities at the forefront of discussions over data ownership and usage. Many smart city technologies will be accepted if national and international data privacy regulations, such as the EU general data protection regulation, are in place. Some cities, on the other hand, believe they need to do more. To meet the potential problems posed by the rise of smart cities, the interaction between residents, government, and service providers must adapt. As big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence (AI) become more common in city administration and public and private services, this will only become more apparent.

Smart cities are entering a vital new phase of development, to achieve significant improvements in key indicators and prioritized outcomes. This growth necessitates the incorporation of digital innovation and data-centric viewpoints into service design and municipal planning procedures. Data is used to enhance decision-making, enable real-time operational control, boost service quality and efficiency, and promote interaction with people, companies, and other stakeholders, which is how the value of smart city technology investment is realized.

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