A few days ago, I told former Tableau CMO Elissa Fink why I found “smart cities” more interesting than the data industry’s tired old slogan “data driven.” Cities are complex and layered. Analytics has results, good or bad. Data becomes tangible, satisfying.
She got it. “‘Data driven’ is ethereal,” she said. “Smart cities are grounded.”
If you to talk about the data industry’s mythical “data driven” for very long, your conversation probably has an eery resemblance to those you had 10 years ago. Today we have more volume, more complexity, and nice things like artificial intelligence. The old themes repeat over and over.
But if you’ve moved from ethereal data into grounded topics, you’ve got something to chew on. Specific problems have been solved or not solved. That kind of talk is satisfying. Success or failure is observable.
The good thing about smart cities is that problems are often public. Much of the city’s data is public, too. “Smart cities” could be the best thing for the data industry since visualized data.