“Data is the new bacon”

At the third annual Smart Cities Connect Conference and Expo at the Kansas City Convention Center, Bob Bennett, chief innovation officer for Kansas City, said that “those cities that fail to adjust” to becoming smart cities will become part of a new ‘digital Rust Belt’. He said that upcoming generations will vote with their feet from cities that don’t become smart cities.

This awareness of the importance of being a smart city, “along with partnerships among government, nonprofits and the private sector” remains the road map for moving smart city projects from pilot to something larger, said CIOs from Kansas City, San Diego, Aurora and New York City.

The next goal is “to harvest more data, do better analytics, and get to the point where predictive analytics actually allows us to be that more efficient with the limited funds that we’ve got” said Bennett.

The future lies in data, and how cities either use it or stumble with it, said David Graham, chief operating officer in San Diego. Graham declares “data is the new bacon”, “both amazingly good, tasty, but also dangerous, cholesterol filled”. “It could kill you.” He goes on to say it is the big struggle we are in the middle of right now. “What do we do with it (data). Who owns it. Do you monetize? Do you not monetize? Nobody has the answer to that.”