Businesses, public service providers and citizens – everyone profits from an open marketplace allowing companies and municipalities to share their data.
There are nine million bicycles in Beijing, sang Katie Melua in 2005 after visiting the Chinese capital. Several years later, there are bound to be millions more – including some 2.3 million rental bikes estimated to be in the city by the management consultancy Roland Berger in 2018. German cities have plenty of catching up to do. Bike-sharing champion in Germany in 2018 was Munich, with only 3,500 rental bicycles for 1.5 million residents. Still, business is booming: Asian bike-sharing firms have started a massive push into the German market. Those companies positioning their bicycles most effectively are bound to win.
CLIENTS HAVE DIVERSE NEEDS
But how can a bike-sharing firms find the best places their rental stations? Space is limited, especially in the city centers, and demand often depends on the weather. Moreover, potential customers rent bikes for completely different reasons. One simply wants to get university or the train station in the morning. Another is looking to have a ride in the park on the weekend or take a spontaneous shopping trip in the city center. The solution for sharing firms? Data.
When companies make the right decisions from good data, they gain important insights for their business model. For example, if the firm knows roughly how many people are about at a certain time of the day and where they’re headed, it can use this information to combine it with their own user data from its fleet of bikes. Info regarding urban infrastructure – transit stops, parks, train stations, schools and sports facilities – could also be useful. The good thing is that much of this data is publicly available – you just have to know where to find it.
DATA MARKETPLACE FOR BUSINESSES AND MUNICIPALITIES
Deutsche Telekom has created a centralized platform providing exactly this kind of data for companies and communities: the Data Intelligence Hub (DIH). This data marketplace in the cloud is fed from public and commercial sources, potentially providing sharing firms with information about population density, infrastructure and weather. Plus, DIH users have access to more than 50 analysis tools that can mine data for valuable insights.
Motionlogic is a DIH partner solution: This intelligent service enables the mapping of people’s movements using wireless network data – naturally anonymized according to data protection rules. Motionlogic heat maps show where potential customers are at different times of the day and the paths they take to get there. This information is available to all DIH users and can be combined with weather and traffic data via an open data analysis tool.
HEAT MAPS WITH MOTION DATA
Such an application makes clear where people need a bike and where it makes sense to open a rental station. A sharing firm can also upload its own customer mobility and app user data (e.g. where they are renting bikes, how long their trips are, where they leave the bikes) to the platform. Core rental times, rarely used stations, neighborhoods with high demand – all this information can enrich the Motionlogic heat map. Taken all together, it creates an overview allowing firms to optimize their bike-sharing business models.
All sectors can profit from trading data: Freight firms can use weather data to optimize fleet transport routes with current traffic info and input from their own drivers. Facility managers can analyze internal building readings like elevators, lighting, doors, heaters and access systems to improve room utilization. Machine makers can exchange production data and transport times with suppliers to make the logistics process more efficient for both.
PUBLIC SERVICES WITH OPEN DATA
An open data marketplace like the DIH can also have benefits for cities and municipalities. Government authorities in Germany are already in the process of making their data publicly available with an e-government law (§12a EgovG). The western German city of Bonn, for example, will soon use the DIH to operate a new public services portal. The city administration will put relevant data such as the locations of WiFi hotspots and taxi stands, trash collection times and sightseeing information online. The platform will also provide sensor data about traffic, as well as air and water quality, in the city. Smart city planners can bring this information together and analyze it using DIH tools in order to provide better air quality forecasts or initiate projects to improve traffic flows. By offering open data, the city administration is helping make Bonn more sustainable on its way to becoming a smart city.
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Head of IoT Marketing Communication
Since 2014 Florian Marte has been part of the T-Systems team. In his position as head of IoT Marketing Communication he is very familiar with all topics related to the Internet of Things. His articles for the blog are focussed on new developments and trends concerning connected devices and data analytics.