LOTaDATA, from data to actionable insights for cities

Published on Wednesday, 17 June 2020

“The most important aspect of being an innovator is to understand the problem that needs to be solved and then find a unique and cost-effective solution to that problem”

– Apurva “Apu” Kumar, founder and CEO of LOTaDATA

City Analytics is the Enel X solution to help plan services on the basis of actual demand through systematic processing of Big Data. Municipalities use it to make decisions concerning mobility and safety, dynamically organise urban transit, correctly size services and public infrastructures and define their location.

When we look at people as data points

LOTaDATA, founded in 2016, is short for “a LOT of DATA” and was created from the very idea of human movement. The GovTech company uses trillions of data points from more than a billion devices every month to provide “fresh, accurate and anonymised insights about the presence, activity and movement of people”.

After working with public administration leaders in the cities of San Josè and San Leandro, the LOTaDATA team gained useful insights regarding governmental pain points that occur in these densely populated regions. “We realised that one of the biggest challenges that governments face is the lack of robust and reliable data to make sound decisions”, says Kumar. For this reason, the CEO and his team made it their “mission to become the stewards of massive geospatial datasets”.

Currently, LOTaDATA collects new data daily to update their knowledge graphs across 1,525 cities worldwide. These graphs gather information from GeoSDK, “an embeddable, energy-efficient and free software component for mobile app developers that collects geospatial analytics with full notice and consent from mobile users”, as the founder explains.

Defining the future of Enel X City Analytics

“We first met the young startup at the end of 2018, after scouting through our Enel San Francisco Innovation Hub. Upon seeing the potential of the team and of their data collection solution, we were eager to involve the startup as a source of data for the Enel X City Analytics product we were starting to develop at that time” – says Sergio Gambacorta, Head of Smart City within Enel X’s Innovability Unit. “Our goal was to develop new algorithms and methodologies to estimate people presences and mobility flows, and qualify the demand and performance of smart urban assets including solar lighting points, charging stations, parking stands, transit centres, terminals and urban advertising billboards.” After 6 months of prototyping and successfully testing the new Enel X product in the city of Bologna (Italy), the solution was officially included into the Enel X eCity global portfolio. LOTaDATA then also partnered with Enel X in “a multi-year strategic global agreement to feed with accurate, anonymised and aggregated location data the Enel X City Analytics product. City Analytics aims to bring geospatial intelligence to cities, metro areas, and urban population centres across more than 6 countries worldwide”, states Kumar.

More recently, and in light of current global events, Enel X has involved LOTaData, amongst other data partners, in its City Analytics project to help public administrations to estimate mobility flows and the effectiveness of lockdown measures during the COVID-19 emergency. The startup is successfully collaborating in delivering data for Origin Destination Matrix Analysis across Italy’s and Spain’s top cities and regions. By leveraging such data, Enel X City Analytics elaborates and provides insights enabling local, regional, and federal governments to evaluate the effects of their stay-at-home orders.

Through the joint work with the Enel X team in City Analytics projects, LOTaDATA has been able to scale up to develop solutions that can positively influence present and future public administration decisions. “We believe that large companies and startups must find ways to give back and improve the cities, neighbourhoods and communities that help us to be successful in the first place”, confirms Kumar. He goes on to mention that “the Enel X team subscribes to this same philosophy, which makes them very unique in today’s corporate world”.

The City Analytics initiative proves that, if we stand together, there is no obstacle that we cannot overcome, and through the power of innovation, technology, Big Data and good ideas, we are able to come together and build a more sustainable world.

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