ITU part 2: Where are we headed? Smart data knows the answer

Subway London, Business Mobility and Alphabet

A few years back the term ‘big data’ was, well, big. Nearly everyone was quick to jump on the big data trend, which, it turns out, was destined for big problems. As it turns out, no one really knows what to do with so much unorganised information.

With big data passé, the future, it appears, is ‘smart data’. In contrast to big data, which aims to collect large amounts of information, smart data focuses on making data meaningful.

Some of smart data’s implications and applications are addressed in the recently released International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Measuring the Information Society Report (though the report continues to use the arguably archaic term big data when they mean smart data). The report is known for the ICT Development Index, a ranking of 166 countries based on their information and technology infrastructure, use and skills.

Any guesses on who tops the list? If you looked to the Nordics, you’re spot on. Denmark is ranked number one followed closely by the Republic of Korea and Sweden on places two and three. But more than just ranking countries according to how IT/tech-savvy they are, the report explores in detail how data can improve societies and our quality of life.

Leveraging smart data for transportation

With 4 billion of the Earth’s 6.8 billion people equip with mobile phone (while only 3.5 billion use a toothbrush!) and 91% of adults keeping their mobile within arms’ reach 24/7, we can learn a lot about human behaviour from mobile phone data. So it comes as no surprise that mobile data finds intelligent use in the field of transportation. By providing a clear picture of how people move about, often in real time, mobile data eliminates the guessing game and allows urban planners to develop transportation infrastructure based on actual human needs. Isn’t that smart?

Check out the full report for a closer look at this exciting topic.

Missed our tribute to 150 years of ITU? Learn about the celebration here.

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