Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

#DigitalCitizen Series: Big Data Benefits for the Digital Citizen

July 31, 2015

Big data, what’s the big deal?

With the pressure to innovate faster, the onslaught of rapid urbanisation, and heightened citizen expectations, government organisations and leaders are looking to the Internet of Everything.

Of the many technology trends that enable the Internet of Everything, big data and analytics warrant special consideration. The astonishing amount of data traversing today’s networks is growing exponentially each day. A recent IDC research report highlights that from now until 2020, the digital universe will double every two years.

This growth in data represents a remarkable opportunity for public sector organisations globally, particularly for government leaders. The automated collection of data – from devices, sensors, and physical objects – and use of the resulting information is providing unprecedented visibility and decision-making capabilities. This is paving the way for faster incident response, safer communities, better operational efficiency, secure access to anytime, anywhere services, and an overall heightened citizen experience.

Click here to watch the Kansas City Video

Enhancing the Community Experience

For this series, imagine this digital citizen as an average community member – a student, tourist, or professional businessperson.

The first stop that we’ll make is to receive wellbeing services; important social services that allow individuals to live a life of dignity and purpose in an inclusive society.

VITAS Innovative Healthcare, thanks to better data management and enhanced insights, enables a more integrated client-centric service experience for our citizen’s visit. But what does that really mean?

Let’s start before care is truly needed. With the evolution of technology and the explosion of apps and wearable devices, our digital citizen can monitor their own health and wellbeing. Sharing this information with medical professionals, who also have access to growing collections of health data on the general public, will allow for preventative measures before problems occur and for preemptive treatment prepared in advance.

Through digitisation, the community facilitates the management of data pertaining to healthcare – among other things like security, supply chains, urban planning, traffic, weather, etc. – and supports centralised analytics, allowing for a more efficient data-driven anticipatory approach to government services.

At the next stop in our digital community, our citizen is waiting for a public bus at a bus stop. While on the bus the citizen can simply click on the free Wi-Fi network through any smart device and stay connected throughout the trip. In addition to receiving data output from the connected bus, the citizen can feed real-time data about their journey to the cloud, helping city authorities improve incident response and traffic management.

For example, our digital citizen just witnessed an accident. While other passengers may be calling local authorities and jamming up phone lines, he or she takes to social media to announce a traffic incident at X street and Y avenue and tags a city agency social account. Cities like Rio de Janeiro have a system that enables the collection and sharing of pertinent data – like real-time social media updates and public transportation locations – across more than 50 local agencies, allowing for a more coordinated and effective response. While emergency responders can more quickly reach and treat those in need of assistance, city operations managers can make proper adjustments to ease traffic flow and resume public transport schedules.

Singapore, with plans to be the world’s first Smart Nation and a view to “serve citizens of all ages and companies of all sizes”, and with initiatives like ultra-pervasive wireless and broadband networks that connect people, processes, things and data, is paving the way with a robust digital strategy that ensures mutual public and private benefit.

With data and analytic capabilities enabled by a digital strategy, communities can better respond to local challenges and deliver efficient, secure citizen services with effective end-to-end assistance.

Kansas City Video

Singapore jurisdiction profile

Rio Jurisdiction profile

VITAS case study

Next Stop

Stay tuned for our next post to discover more information on how the average workday journey can be improved in a digital community. And be sure to check back each week as we explore new themes, challenges and observations.

Additionally, you can click here and register now to get your IoE questions answered on how to become the next digital community.

Finally, we invite you to be a part of the conversation by using the hashtag #DigitalCitizen and by following @CiscoGovt on Twitter.

For more information and additional examples, visit our Smart+Connected Communities page and our Government page on

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