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big data

The systems are getting better, but the nature of the surveys and what they are really measuring should still be foremost in our minds. A detailed understanding of what is happening on the ground is essential for finding local improvements. Some more detailed surveys and good old-fashioned observations are integral components to add to automatically collected data.

Big data is fast becoming a catchphrase to infer superior information, but having a large sample size is not helpful if the numbers are inaccurate, and they don't truly represent what we think we are measuring.

Austraffic's Managing Director John Reid discussed this during his presentation at the 2021 AITPM Online Conference Series.

We are racing ahead with high powered computer technology without the right foundation. We can make bigger mistakes at a faster rate: Garbage in – Garbage out. The impact of COVID has been huge, but it is also being used as an excuse to cover some long term, systemic problems.

The mandatory Census of Population and Housing has been defined as the most significant statistical event in Australia. But it is not sacrosanct. What is essential is good data.

If the most advanced assessment processes are based on poor data and/or wrong assumptions the conclusions can be enormously misleading.

Recently, Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities, The Hon Paul Fletcher MP opened the world’s first lab for planning future cities, at the University of NSW.

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