Bengal means business: big data and greater innovation
By Paul Moorby, Chipside CEO
At the beginning of February I was invited to attend the Bengal Global Business Summit in Kolkata, India. Within a couple of days, I was on a plane and ready to make the 5000 mile trip.
An event designed to showcase the innovation and collaboration opportunities available to UK companies in India, the Bengal Global Business Summit was hosting a number of panels and discussions around emerging UK tech.
India is the largest democracy on earth and with a population of roughly 1.4 billion, it is one of the most dynamic economies. The Indian Government wants UK firms to help with India’s Smart Cities initiative across the country. With this comes opportunity for innovative UK companies to share technologies and drive the adoption of smarter services in a global market.
Sowing the data seed
When it was my chance to speak to the Bengal Global Business Summit audience about public sector innovation, I remembered something I heard earlier in the day; “In India, data is the new oil”.
I disagreed; “I say data is the new soil. If you look after your soil, anything can grow”.
Data driven innovations are increasingly important for economic growth, social change, and the improvement of public services. Through high-speed data analytics, societies can now capture waves of information and use its insight to identify trends and behaviour across many sectors, leading to improved services for the public.
Shared knowledge is power
I believe big data can transform local services and this is why Chipside empowers local authorities to combine layers of data. In terms of parking and traffic management, data can enable dynamic, demand-led parking tariffs, the establishment of new residents’ permit schemes, the construction of new parking facilities and refinement of traffic management policies.
In Indian cities such as Bangalore – where the average travel speed is 8 miles (13 kilometers) per hour during peak times – technology could drastically reduce the economic impact of road congestion. For example, Chipside can combine real-time traffic levels with on-street parking survey data to better understand the relationship between supply, demand and driver behaviour at different times of the day.
Chipside’s Oppidatim strategy enables local governments to provide big data to the public through a variety of portals, assisting the public in understanding and engaging with services on offer. Data can also be shared across local boundaries, allowing a step change in decision-making on both policy and operational levels. Though India still has key decisions to make around data policy in the country before adopting data-driven technologies, it was incredibly insightful and promising to hear about the impact of other UK innovation on the country’s future smart city strategy.