Don’t be afraid…

… to get it wrong.

That was another conclusion from a Smarter City workshop and I think it’s so important.

Not every good idea will work in every area in every city.  But not every idea that fails in one area will fail in another too.  So don’t be afraid to trial things.

After all, it can be expensive and hard to implement a solution city wide, especially when so many of those that are in the name of sustainability come with results that can be hard to quantify in advance.  So, try them out in a couple of areas; a Proof of Concept is not a bad thing.

Then understand why an idea was successful, or why it was not.  And keep a record.

Of course, wouldn’t it be nice if you *could* predict whether something will work?  And that’s where predictive analytics comes in.  Wikipedia’s definition is “Predictive analytics encompasses a variety of techniques from statistics, modeling, machine learning, and data mining that analyze current and historical facts to make predictions about future events”.

So, a local authority can use a variety of data (e.g. the demographics of where a solution is be applied, asset management in the area, historical data about similar solutions in this city and others) to model the implementation of the solution and the likelihood of its success across the city.  A small investment up front in the analytic solution can mean resources are better applied to sustainability: whatever shape those resources come in (funding, people, tools, etc.).  Spend wisely to spend even more wisely.


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