Cities worldwide are increasingly turning to Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as sensor networks, smart devices, and meters to collect citizen-generated data. This data is gathered as people go about their day, providing insights and nuance into how people interact with the world around them, and more specifically with public services such as transportation, energy use, and more.
Smart city data provides insights into how people actually behave, as opposed to how they may claim to. For example, people are less likely to self-report unpopular or embarrassing attitudes or habits due to social desirability bias. Recall bias can lead to respondents inavertedly providing inaccurate information in surveys or polls. Poor survey design can also result in the misunderstanding of questions asked, leading to ambiguous outcomes.
Smart cities can make use of citizen-generated data to respond more impactfully to citizen needs by optimizing public services and cutting down on inefficiencies in an evidence-based manner. As real-time insights become increasingly robust, governments and agencies can even respond to issues as they arise.