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Smart & Connected Community Data Strategy Announcement

Above: the Smart & Connected Community Data Strategy announcement on May 25, 2017.

Smart & Connected Community Data Strategy announcement

What do you do when you wake up in the morning? You might check social media, then jump on a bus to get to work, use your credit card to buy a coffee. All of that data is collected, but it may never go beyond the analytics of the social media platform you’re on or the transportation system that owns the bus you took or the store where you bought your coffee.

But, imagine if the data you freely give up to businesses, industry and governments every day could be collected and analyzed to look for trends, patterns and solutions that could help the way you move, work and play in a city?

That’s the plan behind Canada’s Smart & Connected Community Data Strategy that was just announced May 25th by Enterprise Saint John and its partners which include, Bell Aliant, CISCO, T4G, EY, the City of Saint John, tourism providers and the University of New Brunswick.

Over the next 3 years, infrastructure will be expanded to improve accessibility, reach and reliability of WiFi in Uptown Saint John. Cameras and sensors will be put up around the city and businesses to collect data. A data repository will be built to house all this information from industry, businesses, and the tourism sector. Innovators and researchers will then mine those data sets to come up with solutions or applications to solve business problems, but also come up with opportunities to market those solutions to the world.

One dataset gives a little insight, but data paints a better picture and becomes truly powerful when layers of data are analyzed.

Here’s an example: if you collect data on how many pedestrians are on a street, and traffic flow at a given time of day…

  • A business could make informed decisions about where to set up for maximum profits.
  • Add data on what types of businesses there are, who they employ, and their age and gender – you start to see how many jobs might be available in what kind of sectors, what kinds of employees are attracted to those jobs, what skills are needed and where to cluster similar or supporting businesses.
  • Use information or data picked up from sensors that connect to phones as people move around a community and the City, uptown business improvement zone and tourism providers might see patterns about what age group is drawn to what attraction, where they like to spend money and what services they want the most.
  • Add crime stats to all those layers of data and police and social services may know more accurately where people in need or danger might be and how best to help them.

With a project of this size, it’s possible to add other data sets from social groups that could also lead to solutions for everything from improving services to citizens to ideas to tackle generational poverty.

This project fits perfectly aligned with Enterprise Saint John’s vision to be Canada’s Most Connected Community.  The strength of our community lies in how easily we are connected through our technology, our people and our strategic location.  We already have global technology leaders such as CISCO and T4G as well as local innovators who have invested here because they know Saint John is a hub of innovation.

The hope is this 3-year project will attract even more innovators who will work with data from our world-class industrial base and business community to come up with new opportunities. These opportunities will drive this region’s economy and be a model for others around the world.

For more information on the strategy and the projects, go to: http://enterprisesj.com/smart-and-connected-community/the-strategy/

 

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