IT Systems and Data Protection

25.06.18

Big Data analytics ‘critical’ to help councils keep up with changing citizen behaviour patterns

The way people are moving across a city is fundamentally and rapidly changing, but some local authorities are not moving quickly enough themselves in order to understand these different movement patterns.

Councils are therefore missing out on critical opportunities to improve their public services and urban planning by adapting to the transforming needs of citizens, whose lives no longer revolve around the traditional 9-5 job and daily commute to the city centre.

These are the findings of Citi Logik, an SME which is working with Vodafone to provide local government with a wealth of anonymised and aggregated data in order to help them understand how a given city has changed in recent years, and what services are no longer working as intended.

Importantly, the company – which last year won a grant from Innovate UK’s ‘First of a Kind’ technology competition to look at transport flows by analysing real-time data from Vodafone’s mobile network – looks at the baseline of data and compares it to the actual data in order to examine what has changed.

Stephen Leece, its managing director, told PSE: “That’s what we focus on: the change, and understanding what the changing dynamics are. Whether something is busy or not is irrelevant – it’s whether it’s fundamentally getting worse or better.”

One of the most common differences across any given city is the fact that people no longer work and play the way they used to. “People are now working in a number of locations, they’re shopping in a number of different places, and they’re spending their time fundamentally differently than five years ago. Therefore, the urban environment is no longer what you imagine it to be,” explained Leece. “What is important is to understand what that behaviour looks like, because you have to change the dynamics of the way the city is set up.”

The process of analysing anonymised data via 3G and 4G networks is entirely GDPR-compliant, but not all local authorities have started taking advantage of this capability to change the ways they plan for the future.

“If you’re going to do something better, faster and cheaper, you have to start with the better. The better is the quality. The faster is that it’s a much more non-intrusive analysis of data using existing infrastructure, which is clearly more efficient and better for society – you’re not putting large amounts of sensors on the streets or anything of that nature,” explained the MD.

“Finally, cheaper is providing something to a local authority that it would not otherwise have been able to afford. Over the last 12 months, supported by Innovate UK, we built a capability that is for public good. It’s on a subscription basis, and it’s affordable based on a price per individual within that population set.”

The company has already worked with a number of government authorities to exploit data for particular services on a project-by-project basis. For example, it recently helped a city to optimise car parking flows, which contribute to roughly 30% of congestion level in an urban area. “If the car parking is not optimised and is too close to the centre, you can create congestion just because of what you believe is actually solving the problem – i.e. car parking,” argued Leece. “That piece of work was basically to help the city understand itself.”

It is now inviting local authorities to harness its services, and Vodafone’s unparalleled wealth of data, on a continual basis in order to benefit the whole spectrum of the public service landscape – including planning, health, transport and environmentalism.

To discuss these issues and find out how you can learn more about smart city technology, join Vodafone and Citi Logik at a live webinar on 9 July. To register, click here.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

District and borough authorities begin challenge against Nottinghamshire super-council

20/07/2018District and borough authorities begin challenge against Nottinghamshire super-council

Gedling council members have emphatically outlined their stance against a potential mega-merger in Nottinghamshire that could see borough and dis... more >
Northamptonshire new CEO approved by Full Council to lead area through ‘unprecedented time of change’

20/07/2018Northamptonshire new CEO approved by Full Council to lead area through ‘unprecedented time of change’

Northamptonshire County Council’s new chief executive has been endorsed at the authority’s Full Council meeting yesterday, with the a... more >
‘Naming and shaming index’ for bankrupt councils fails to offer genuine solution

20/07/2018‘Naming and shaming index’ for bankrupt councils fails to offer genuine solution

An index designed to measure councils’ financial resilience in order to avoid another Northamptonshire-style fiasco would actually risk ove... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >
District and borough authorities begin challenge against Nottinghamshire super-council

20/07/2018District and borough authorities begin challenge against Nottinghamshire super-council

Gedling council members have emphatically outlined their stance against a potential mega-merger in Nottinghamshire that could see borough and district authorities being scrapped. Nottinghams... more >
Northamptonshire new CEO approved by Full Council to lead area through ‘unprecedented time of change’

20/07/2018Northamptonshire new CEO approved by Full Council to lead area through ‘unprecedented time of change’

Northamptonshire County Council’s new chief executive has been endorsed at the authority’s Full Council meeting yesterday, with the authority’s leader saying the new CEO “... more >

the raven's daily blog

One step closer to voter IDs at elections

19/07/2018One step closer to voter IDs at elections

Chloe Smith MP, Minister for the Constitution, evaluates the outcomes of the voter ID pilots conducted at the last local elections. We are one step closer to strengthening the integrity of our electoral system through requiring electors to confirm their identity before they vote, building on the government’s commitment to safeguard ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

One step closer to voter IDs at elections

19/07/2018One step closer to voter IDs at elections

Chloe Smith MP, Minister for the Constitution, evaluates the outcomes of the voter ID pilots conducted at the last local elections. We are o... more >
Accountability in government: what next?

02/07/2018Accountability in government: what next?

Benoit Guerin, senior researcher at the Institute for Government (IfG), explains why accountability in government needs improving and sets out wh... more >
Potholes: The scourge of the roads

02/07/2018Potholes: The scourge of the roads

Potholes are a scourge on our roads and can have much farther-reaching consequences than one might think. Re-routing just a small amount of exist... more >
Can data save the future of children?

02/07/2018Can data save the future of children?

Ingrid Koehler, service innovation lead at the LGiU, takes a look at the untapped potential for a digital, data-led transformation of children&rs... more >

interviews

Data at the heart of digital transformation

03/04/2018Data at the heart of digital transformation

SPONSORED INTERVIEW Grant Caley, UK & Ireland chief technologist at NetApp, speaks to PSE’s Luana Salles about the benefits of movin... more >
GDPR: The public sector scarecrow

03/04/2018GDPR: The public sector scarecrow

SPONSORED INTERVIEW PSE’s Josh Mines chats to Martin de Martini, CIO of Y Soft, about what the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)... more >
Keeping London safe

05/03/2018Keeping London safe

Theo Blackwell, London’s first-ever chief digital officer (CDO), speaks to PSE’s Luana Salles about the role he plays in ensuring the... more >
BIM: Digitising the public sector

19/02/2018BIM: Digitising the public sector

PSE’s Josh Mines talks to Stephen Crompton, CTO at GroupBC, and Stuart Bell, the company’s sales and marketing director, about how Bu... more >

public sector focus

View all News