Barriers to the Implementation of Big Data

Stephen Jia Wang, Patrick Moriarty

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review


This chapter sounds a cautionary note about big data applications. In general terms, it discusses, in turn, the potential serious challenges to its use, including privacy, data security, reliability, cost, technical challenges, and potential barriers to its acceptance, which will need to be overcome. The barriers to acceptance and use vary greatly from one application to another, being close to zero for some applications (for example, urban weather forecasting), to possibly serious for more sensitive applications that involve even anonymised personal data. We conclude that big data is not a panacea for all urban problems—some important areas of urban sustainability are probably best tackled by traditional small data approaches or a judicious use of both big and small data. The barriers for some applications, particularly those based on personal data, will for some time be greater in the cities of many industrialising countries than in OECD cities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBig Data for Urban Sustainability
PublisherSpringer International Publishing AG
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-73610-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-73608-2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes


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