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Is big data just for the big boys?

We’ve all heard the term ‘big data’ banded about, but what exactly does it mean?

The Gartner IT glossary defines big data as: high-volume, high-velocity and/or high-variety information assets that demand cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing that enable enhanced insight, decision making, and process automation.

Put more simply, when we talk about big data we mean a large piece of electronic information that can’t be processed manually.

Given the amount of data generated each year is increasing dramatically, big data as a term will likely soon become part of everyday business language, rather than just a buzz-word. A 4300% increase to 35 ZB in data generated each year is projected by 2020.

But only 0.5% of the data collected is actually analysed and used!

How can companies and governments use big data?

Core uses of big data include: enhancing customer intelligence, improving operational efficiencies, introducing new business processes with real-time insights, and offering big data as a service.

The key reason to use big data is to help make better decisions.

With relevant information, at the right time, organisations are empowered to make the right decision, and understand the impact of this decision on financial results and operational performance.

Is big data only available from big companies?

There certainly are big companies providing big data with IBM, HP, Microsoft, Intel, and Amazon all offering big data solutions. But an organisation of any size can create big data if it has the right infrastructure to gather it.

Our vehicle count and classification systems, and wireless vehicle detection solutions are in place across the UK’s major highways and throughout towns and cities to gather a vast amount of data every hour. Our count and classification systems alone count circa 90 million vehicle movements every day.

But we don’t just deliver big data to our clients. Our Insight Data Intelligence Platform gathers data from these various sources and processes this to deliver actionable intelligence. This simplifies the collection, processing, reporting and analysis of big data to provide actual intelligence.

How can big data be used in ITS?

Intelligence can be used to improve predictability, enhance safety, reduce congestion, transform behaviour, and optimise parking in the following ways:

Traffic flow monitoring solutions help traffic managers, road maintenance contractors and even road users make informed judgements and better decisions. This intelligence can predict which areas will suffer wear and tear and even what kind of maintenance will be needed.

An understanding of regular traffic flow to detect incidents and recognition of when congestion is building enhances safety and reduces congestion by allowing traffic to be diverted, contraflows used, and lanes added.

Understanding where issues persist and how data can be used to alter behaviour allows our infrastructure to be used most efficiently and safely. For example, intelligence on the traffic using a Grade 1 listed bridge in Newcastle allowed use to be controlled so that the bridge could remain open for certain vehicles.

Finally, intelligence can be used to optimise parking with wide ranging benefits. Using the Insight Data Intelligence Platform car park operators have full intelligence on availability of spaces, trends in car park use, and awareness of misuse. This enables informed decision making on future requirements and use of overflow facilities. Users benefit too, being saved the time and trouble of finding a space by signs directing them straight towards the nearest available space.

Insight provides actionable intelligence, not raw data across these applications. This modular platform offers real-time business intelligence direct from the roadside.

Designing software to deliver intelligence rather than data will facilitate access to big data and result in more informed decision making. We believe in this so strongly that we designed our brand around it. Hence, the transition from Clearview Traffic to Clearview Intelligence.

Want greater insight into your traffic network? Get in touch to discover how we can deliver intelligence, not data. Call us on+44(0) 1869 362800
Uploaded 09/06/2016