Big Data Alone Isn't Enough to Spark City Innovation

MIT's Ceasar McDowell contends big data alone does not provide a full picture of the life of a community, arguing that high tech must be matched with high touch.
August 28, 2014 AT 2:00 PM

Cities are complex places that can lack the infrastructure and processes to stitch together their constituencies. Today, cities are innovating, but many times that innovation is laser focused around data, big data and getting more data. This only gives us a glimpse of the reality regarding citizen experiences within a city. In short, big data by itself is insufficient for innovation. 

In a guest commentary for the City Accelerator, Ceasar McDowell, President of the Interaction Institute for Social Change and Professor of the Practice of Community Development at MIT, argues we must bring together the public to gain a holistic picture of the problems in our cities and the solutions needed to build communities that are economically healthy.


Be part of the campaign for civic innovation at the City Accelerator, presented by Citi Foundation.