The Age of Technology and the Mess caused by Data Deluge
Worldwide, policymakers and stakeholders alike are tasked with shaping change of societies. Whether setting goals for growth, identifying timelines or allocating budgets, there is a constant need for intelligence to make smart decisions.
Living in the age of technology and globalization has its advantages for decision-makers. They can draw inspiration from examples, deep-dive into business and technical know-how, learn from others’ successes and mistakes… And yet, they suffer from the anomaly called data deluge. Statistics for analysis are often derived painstakingly from hordes of data, making it challenging to extract intelligence dynamically and conveniently.
Dependence on location intelligence
Location intelligence has become an integral part of our world. Everyone — large organizations, smaller businesses and citizens — use location on a daily basis. Picture this: You have to get from point A to point B. Would you stop and ask passers-by on how to get there or simply use the apps on your phone to show fastest routes, travel time, and transportation options?
Smart decisions by governments require good interplay between technology, processes and people
In the ever-changing and complex world, organizations must have their environments well ‘mapped’ to extract intelligence in the most meaningful and optimal manner.
Fusing statistics, business and geospatial intelligence
Almost all processes within government agencies in the Netherlands deal with location. It is therefore imperative to connect location with databases and information. However, simply pooling data is not as powerful unless combined with information that can be projected dynamically, helping stakeholders to get answers.
Most social and economic reports at government agencies are prepared annually and made available digitally or in the form of booklets. These reports are detailed and show statistics in the form of charts and graphs. However, none of the information is current; it is all a depiction of ‘what was’ rather than ‘what is’ or ‘what will be’.
A city is made of people. Communicating information intelligently is imperative for a city to thrive and grow. Wouter Brokx, CEO, Imagem
Also missing in the reports is historical data, which if coupled with current data helps discover trends. Adding location intelligence to the equation builds interrelationships and analysis to plan, project and monitor. Fused together, statistics, business– and location intelligence can turn into a powerful tool to determine if policies and strategies have proven/will prove effective or not. Static report offers no dynamic correlation between the data and intelligence.
Let’s consider the case of commercial real-estate in the Netherlands. Whether located at city centers or special industrial zones, occupancy rates are associated with social and economic situations. Data from commercial real-estate is often summarized in figures and tables that run into hundreds of pages, making it difficult to draw trend analysis. What ails dead units in the heartland, while units in the chilly north thrive? Or why are centers not as much in demand as zones in the country? The questions can be numerous, but the answers are somewhere in the hordes of data. You just have to look for them using the right tools.
So what is the solution? Firm believers in the ‘less is more’ philosophy, we prefer simple solutions for a complex problem. Imagine a knowledge application — in form of adashboard — quickly and intuitively merging location and statistics, backed by real-time data, and available in the form of a simple app.
Now use this dashboard in the example of commercial real-estate. There is a map — dynamic, real-time, interactive. Overlay this will historical- and current data, statistics and relevant information (such as policies). Using this dashboard, anyone from a policymaker to an alderman or a stakeholder can gain insight into the number real-estates, related or interested companies/organizations, vacancy rate, surface and
contained area, number of staff, and so on.
By combining location and statistics, stakeholders are exposed to a world of accurate monitoring of policies and their impact, effective management and analysis of assets, and ultimately improved communications of intelligence.
These benefits result in more efficient and effective operations because both knowledge and true information can be communicated in an innovative way. The time between the perception and the action to be taken is shorter by faster and better substantiated insight. Using location as a unifying factor makes it possible to combine all sorts of data and to visualize, investigate the links and get immediate feedback.
Connecting the dots
These dashboard solutions are not limited to real-estate or road-quality. Within the Netherlands, Imagem is constantly developing solutions for various facets of the government to monitor effectiveness of policy, such as, roads, health care, water infrastructure, green spaces, urban heat stress, electricity and more.
Using smart technology and visual solutions are paving the way for communicating information in the Netherlands. “Within a short time, we have transformed problems faced by decision-makers into something tangible. And that’s exactly how smart cities work — start small, and connect the dots. After all, it’s about communicating intelligence effectively and efficiently,” says Wouter Brokx, CEO, Imagem.
Marketing Consultant, Imagem