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The ancestor of every action is a thought
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Data is the new Oil

Would you agree to using your car to help the Council freely identify where pot holes are? What if the technology used also indicated if a vehicle ahead of you has suddenly slowed down or stopped on the blind corner you are approaching?

This app is being developed, it basically converts your smart phone into a dash cam that collects data. Councils can use this data for example to identify where vehicles continually slow down on a stretch of road indicating a possible pot hole that needs to be attended to.

Is this form of ‘Big Brother Is Watching You’ tolerable?

Data is the new oil, the 21st century driver of growth and change. As such more and more is being collected and refined into a valuable resource to be used or sold.

Rockhampton’s goal to reposition itself as a ‘smart city’ obviously needs to not just drill for data, but also extract, refine and distribute it to achieve its ambitions. In fact, any organisation that wants to continue being successful needs to be mining data.

What are Rockhampton’s ‘Big Brother’ ambitions with the data it presently and in the future collects? Just like the federal government’s census; to make our community a better place to live, work, play, learn as well as attract more people here because of it.

Good data generally helps make better decisions than gut feel.

Do we though have the skills to prospect, drill, extract and refine data in order to improve our community or business.

If not and you want to make our community a better place, and/or grow your business, consider attending GovHack this weekend at the Rockhampton Startup Hub.

What is GovHack, well first let’s point out it is not just for computer geeks; you get to hack government (open sourced) data, but it is how you as part of a team decide to reapply the data to develop an application that could benefit the community or business (including your own). The more diverse the skill set of the team the more valuable the application could end up being.

After all you don’t need to be a computer geek to work out cars continually slowing down on the same undivided straight stretch of road could be due to a pot hole.

We can sit on the side of the road and whinge that there are too many pot holes, be they in our community or our business, or we can choose to be pro-active and take steps to broaden our skills and help find smarter ways to fill the pot holes.

GovHack is free, participants also get fed and caffeinated, it’s an opportunity that should be grabbed with both hands, those wanting to impress potential employers and those wanting to learn.

With the imminent introduction of the NDIS on 1st November that will result in not only 850-1000 new jobs and millions of extra dollars circulating in Central Queensland, but also new business opportunities; at GovHack you could be accessing relevant data to create an application to efficiently deliver a specific service to benefit NDIS clients, working with others whose additional skills and experience help make it a reality. And all for free.

Visit the Startup Capricorn Facebook site for details and to register.

There are many opportunities to create new products and services. You’ve got to grab them though. Data is a catalyst; GovHack is where you can start learning how to turn data into something new, something clever, something valuable for our community and/or your business.

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