We all hear about big data and its powerful possibilities. We also hear about how these large companies are doing such amazing things with it. Well, this just doesn’t happen overnight. You have to plan to plan and create the tremendous structure with intelligent data scientists. So how does a city get this functionality without the resources of a “google” type company? Also, does a “google” type company even understand smart city needs and how to make the best use of data? I will answer some of these questions below.
- Planning – Structure your strategy and have clear goals about what projects you will have “focus” on and ensure the team rows in the proper direction.
- Architecture – You have to plan your architecture to ensure that it will be able to handle the stresses that come with the complex ingest. This will include complex technologies including your ingest streams, warehouse, ETL, neural net, machine learning, AI, and visualization. These systems need to truly understand what they are seeing and how they will relay that information. The more structured you create the environment the more efficient the wayfinding.
- Structure Implementation (Standards) – If you work with a consulting firm like http://venturesmarter.com or look to a vendor like https//smartlink.city/ you will get help all along the way, as they have experience in developing and progressing the plan into implementation. The key to implementation is a focus and forward movement. It does not matter if it happens in a week or a year as long as that forward progress is happening.
- Validation – This is a huge area I see cities, companies and more simply missing. Cities want to park so they focus strongly on this vertical with vendors who have a history of parking only. In my opinion, this is a mistake and all vendors should be promoting a validation in-box solution using sensors just to QA the primary sensor to ensure all data is checked on the front end through automation. For instance, smartLINK has 15 sensors per Kiosk and smart box. The reasoning behind this is that our data is tight and ready for shipment into a city system. We have yet to see any of the advertising companies that exist in the kiosk space even remotely understand this type of concept. Not trying to self-champion, but simply to give a specific example of the type of vendor we feel cities should be looking for.
- RFP not for election but for the plan: RFP’s are designed for the city to send out requests with requirements and get them what they want back from vendors along with the new information they might not have seen. This process has been very open-ended in our lens and does not provide the structure needed by the vendors to maximize value to the city. It does allow for creativity but not structure. Cities should put forth RFPs not with a legal entity only but allow consultants like Venture Smarter, for example, to be involved to put in place standards that the industry supports. This means the city will get more cross-functionality of assets and the citizens will get a better understanding of what is taking place.
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