Before any urban project can take place, data that has been collated, processed and interpreted can provide clear strategies for action while mitigating risks of investment. Analytics is the discovery, interpretation, and communication of meaningful patterns in data. This involves data collection, cleaning and integration, analysis and interpretation, visualisation and communication. In line with our evidence-based methodology, the Think City Analytics team generates insights to guide urban policy-making, providing input into decision-making for cities at the strategic as well as tactical levels. Our projects include baseline studies, policy/strategy documents, strategic masterplans and a data analytics platform.
Often many agencies (government, nongovernment or private) embark on research and info-mining projects independently, leading to multiple unintegrated data sets, which does not enable them to have a holistic perspective. Our data analytics platform will serve to fill in the gaps, consolidate and integrate existing data to create value for government, the private sector and communities.
Making information democratically available, transparent and accessible, for communities is also a key goal in our Analytics practice. When citizens have a clear understanding of what is happening in their neighbourhoods and cities, they can communicate with their local governments and begin to help shape their cities.
In-House Master Plans
National Policy Advocacy Documents
This area of work includes building city metrics by profiling cities and citizens, collating and mapping data such as population and land use, and subsequently analysing data to develop insights and narratives to guide urban policy. The outputs enable a means for comparative city studies and the development of appropriate urban solutions.
Meanwhile, at a territorial level, data analysis enables regions and nations to identify how they can alleviate the demand on resources in overcrowded cities, and create synergies between urban centres within the same territory or even across international borders to develop polycentric urban centres that are competitive globally.
With the goal of democratising data – making data useful, transparent, and accessible – the Analytics Team created an interactive Geographic Information System (GIS) portal to share the wealth of data and narratives on cities. This was a first step in allowing the public to visualise and understand their cities better.
The Analytics Team continues to experiment with the wealth of urban data available. Their focus is in exploring unconventional and new data sources as well as new ways of looking at old data. The goal is to build a comprehensive and robust Urban Data Analytics Platform that will integrate diverse data and eventually use artificial intelligence to harvest and analyse data. Looking at our cities from new perspectives and with different lenses will enrich our understanding of our urban spaces.
This area of our Analytics practice is a natural progression from data analysis to formulate policy, strategy, and tactical action based on evidence, applied to a particular area or territory. This ensures that policy and strategy is evidence-based and that development takes a plan-led approach. Our work includes input into national and state-level urban policy and strategy documents such as the Penang 2030 vision, as well as developing strategic area masterplans including for the Kuala Lumpur Creative & Cultural District (KLCCD).