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Road users in the UK can benefit from open data, making journeys work

After recently running a blog on big data we thought we should also take a look at open data and understand if this is the same thing.

Most of us will have heard the phrase open data and perhaps come across articles on how it is being used to gain more insight, including on UKs roads.

Open data is quite simply “data that anyone can use and share”, whilst big data is seen as using large amounts of data which is not always available for everyone to use. So the concepts are similar in that for both, the data is being used to gain insight and inform decision making, but there may be limits on how big data is accessible to all.

There are plenty of articles on open data that encourage its use in combining knowledge. Open data is now reaching every sector of UK industry and is bigger than ever. It is becoming more apparent that when combined, this data yields new insights that can steer intelligent decisions. It’s this demand for depth of knowledge that has fuelled the growth of open and big data tools and platforms.

As an example in our world of journeys, the data from asset based sensors and monitors supplies congestion and traffic flow information, whilst anonymised data from users e.g. mobile phones, vehicles, sat navs, social media and personal monitoring equipment shares behavioural context/experiences when mapped to specific geographic locations. With advances in software modelling capabilities, we are now able to see the benefits of bringing these two different databases together.

There are still some challenges to overcome, such as security issues and potential hacking concerns. Mixing the digital and the physical world have always required the highest security standards to prevent incidents happening. We have already seen the case of the hacked refrigerator that attacked a business.

So systems will need to be continually modified and maintained in order to meet changing requirements, yet flexible enough to adapt to new threats quickly.

Existing technology has already overcome some of these issues and will continue to do so, for example our Insight platform can use anonymous data to show journey times and help traffic officers monitor traffic flow, speeds and any signs of potential traffic build-up so that they can intervene before congestion becomes a real issue.

Clearview are already providing valuable data from which intelligent decisions can be made around journey times, predictability and congestion. If you’d like to find out how you can gain more insight into intelligent decisions, contact us.

Author: Marketing M |Date Published: June 2016


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