The future of data is democratization and exchanges

Data Democratization

Data allows us to make optimized decisions that don’t rely on gut feelings or assumptions but instead on real-results and actionable insights.  Smart Cities will have HUGE data requirements. With that in mind, we must correct the course of big data planning to avoid death by data overload and silos of data sets. Thematically, we must consider:

  • Data democratization - This type of solution allows for non siloed curation with each data analyst’s work benefiting the whole.  I encourage you all to talk with Andy Ruberg with Astronomer about this very topic of efficiency gain in your environment.

  • Data Silo's - Interoperable data starts with governance and collaboration. Silos of data don’t allow integrated problem solving and create inefficient processes that result in a lack of overall vision. Proper governance mitigates risk and removes data silos.

  • Value - Centralizing data allows it to be turned into actionable insights, creating new or enhanced value points. Data can be used to cut costs by optimizing existing processes, to generate revenue by being sold in a marketplace or exchange, and to create value by helping planners make data-driven decisions that save agencies time, money, and resources.

Lean data is the best data. There must be quality controls and purpose driven data aggregation. Too much data in the front door takes time to process, money to manage, and causes confusion for end users. More data isn’t necessarily better data.

To increase value and mitigate reduncies, data sales need centralized marketplaces and exchanges. Data is now a product that can create value many times over, but there are immediate gaps in the data sales ecosystem as the market continues to mature.

Problems with existing data sales mechanics:

  • One to one sales are in place.

  • Curation as a service does not exist.

  • Qualitative standards are not in place yet.

  • Data is sensitive and market places with enough trust being developed have not come to fruition.

Data needs an established, secure, and open marketplace. This “exchange” allows data to be sent to a central index that actively packages, curates, validates, verifies and allows the buy side to more easily connect with actionable insights, not just raw data.  This is reflective of the traditional advertising business model.

To succeed, centralized data exchanges need:

  • Trusted location to house data “Unbiased”

  • Pre existing data repository and aggregation

  • Seamless interfaces

  • Skilled workforce

  • Secure facilities and protocols

Universities were among the first to usher in the DNS service which quite literally runs the internet, and are well positioned to lead data centralization efforts. Leveraging data, universities can grow in both relevance and impact in their communities while providing students and researchers new tools and experience. Universities being academically focused would seem to be a great host for data exchanges. The open access portals will allow communities to better understand available resources and addressable opportunity areas.

Smart Cities will utilize universities to create localized and regional data exchanges that will cohesively feed into national data repositories. This standardized approach to data management is the ultimate value chain in data sciences and smart and connected communities.  Automating our systems and cities will hinge on executing this effectively, enabling us drive forward the digital transformations city to city, state to state, and region to region.


Authors -

Jon Salisbury - CEO @ smartLINK - The world's smartest kiosk and SAAS for smart Cities

Zack Huhn - CEO @ Venture Smarter - Democratizing smart city planning for governments, businesses, and universities