During the Second European Congress of Local Authorities in Krakow, coordinator of the Open Cities program participated in a panel discussion on “big data”.

The conversation led Łukasz Cioch – Director. Public Aspire Poland and the discussions were also attended by Mariusz Rzepka, territory manager of Fortinet and Frane Sesnić, director Development Agency from Zagreb.

During one-hour conversation, participants could get to know the point of view on big data from the social, business and local government side. What’s interesting – all the panelists agreed on the benefits of the data analysis.

The main challenge in the field of big data in local government, is to increase awareness of their ownership. Because big data is not only transport data (the most common example) but also data on financial transactions, energy or information obtained in real time from the user (type solutions FixMyStreet). However, for this type of data was seen as a useful material for easy management and contact with citizens – is needed political leadership, which is a clear statement of the authorities, that they want to go that way.

It should also be kept in mind that local governments often accumulate large data, but at the same time they are unstructured and inaccessible to citizens and business. No structure significantly hinders any analysis (performed by citizens or business) and the lack of availability (open data) requires each time requesting new information.

Katarzyna Mikolajczyk, coordinator of Open Cities underlined the need for the education system of local governments in the field of data – not only from a legal, but also in terms of awareness of their possession and processing. Mariusz Rzepka emphasizing the need for appropriate protection of such data (or by the government itself or by an external entity).

Panelists were asked to comment on the end of the one desired in the context of big data. They made it to the dream: “to large data were available, useful and used to improve the quality of life of residents.”

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Photo: EKS2016