Last week, ZenCity was announced a winner of the Smart 50 Awards from a pool of international tech initiatives from all over the world! This isn’t just exciting for us because it’s always fun to get a little bit of recognition – which is cool too – but because this year the Smart 50 included a layer in their finalists selection process that we think is critical to making a difference. This year, they also focused on implementation.
Let’s take a step back. If you don’t already know, the Smart 50 Awards are granted annually at the Smart Cities Connect conference to the most innovative and influential smart city projects of the year. This time around, award recipients were selected for more than just exemplary innovation (also an important criterion!) Rather, also for the implementation of their innovative solution and for its concrete impact. We received the award for the impact our technology has had on our home turf, the nonstop, bubbling beach city of Tel Aviv.
At ZenCity, this is so exciting for us because we are all about big data, and what we do with the big data we collect is unique. We take unstructured textual data from millions of data points in the forms of words, requests, complaints, Facebook likes, tweets, 311 calls, even comments on online news mags, and more – and automatically categorize them into city-specific topics. In the actual implementation for which we were nominated, for example, Tel Aviv’s Transportation Department used our tech to get feedback on a new car sharing program it launched. We were able to pull positive feedback as well as criticism, flaws and feedback from all of this unstructured data and make it useful for a specific unit in the Tel Aviv municipality – and they then used our data to refine the car sharing program.
Transforming different types of data created by city residents into measurable, actionable information for city leaders to utilize in shaping policy, allocating resources, and understanding what their constituents priorities, cares and concerns are is what we do best. Our success in Tel Aviv, as recognized by being selected a finalist in the 50 Smart Awards, is a testament to the fact that we can really have an impact with the kind of data we’re measuring and with how we’re categorizing and analyzing it.
It’s a huge honor to have been selected as a Smart 50 Awards winner this year, and especially with the recognition that what we’re doing is innovative, has been successfully implemented, and is therefor impactful! So thanks Smart Cities Connect and hope to see you, reader, at the conference in March in Kansas City, Missouri. And, if you haven’t already checked out the lineup for the conference, you can do so here.