Mar. 1, 2014, Beijing - The Urban China Initiative (UCI) held a Specialist Seminar themed “Unlocking the Power of Open Data to Drive Value Creation” on March 1 in Beijing. More than 40 experts from the public and private sectors participated in a heated discussion on the new economic opportunities open data strategy will bring.
McKinsey Global Institute (MGI)’s Senior Fellow Michael Chui presented MGI’s latest research on big data – “Unlocking the Power of Open Data to Drive Value Creation”. He pointed out that $3 trillion could be unleashed globally each year through the use of open data in areas including education, transportation, health care, etc. “It brings opportunities and value to make data more open, which is exactly what the government should do through policy making,” said Michael.
“The government plays an important role in the process. Firstly, as a provider of open data, the government digitalizes, publishes, and improves data. Secondly, the government needs to promote people’s awareness of the use of data. Meanwhile, the government is also a data user, sharing information among nations and departments. Lastly as a policy maker, the government should not only encourage the use of data, but also set rules for data sharing and control the risk,” Michael concluded.
Shu JIANG, Deputy Head of the Economic Statistics Office at the Statistics Science Institute of the National Statistics Bureau, talked about the Bureau’s new thinking about big data. She said the Bureau had embraced the challenge, taking innovative steps in improving its statistical methods and overall management, which included using big data to control data quality.
“The National Statistics Bureau signed contracts with 11 companies late last year to establish partnerships on big data issues. The companies included Baidu, Alibaba, and other search engines and e-commerce businesses. The Bureau wanted to do data sharing and technical exchanges through these partnerships, so that it would be not only a data provider, but also a data user,” said JIANG.
Hai QIN, Deputy Director of the Information Department at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said the use of big data provided important opportunities for social development and transformation. He pointed out that big data can not only help the government make better decisions, but also enhance the accountability mechanism and make it more transparent.
“The National Statistics Bureau, among all ministries and departments, has been the first to embrace big data and make innovations. We should give the Bureau some credit for it,” QIN said.
Guolin ZHOU, Deputy Director of the Zhongguancun Administrative Committee, said that the rise of big data had also brought opportunities for businesses and science parks. “There are a lot of companies doing businesses related to big data, the Internet, and search engines. Science parks should seize the chance to help the companies make a collective impact,” said ZHOU.
From the perspective of city operators, Peng LIN, Chief Planner of China Investment Development Co., Ltd, pointed out that the big data can be applied to areas like industrial development, urban construction and city management.
“But the development of big data is inadequate. The building of smart cities, for example, has attracted a lot of investments. But the result is unsatisfactory,” said LIN.
“Under the guise of developing smart cities, a lot of funds have actually been invested in land economy. There is problem,” LIN pointed out.
Wei HUANG, Dean of the School of Management at Xi’an Jiaotong University, believed there were two aspects to be improved in the development of big data – the overall strategic vision for the use of big data, and the fundamental data quality and research.
The Urban China Initiative holds Specialist Seminars regularly to promote dialogues, ideas and research on China’s urbanization. This recent seminar attracted a lot of domestic mainstream media, including China Daily, Caixin, 21st Century Business Herald, Yicai and Sina.