CHALLENGES IN DATA-DRIVEN POLICYMAKING: USING SMART CITY DATA TO SUPPORT LOCAL RETAIL POLICIES
Keywords: data-driven policy making, retail, smart cities, Flanders
Abstract. In Flanders (Belgium), there is a growing awareness among city administrations and governments to turn their cities into smart cities by transforming their policy decisions into evidence-based and data-driven policymaking. Nonetheless, many Flemish cities still face several challenges related to the integration of data-driven policy evaluation research at different stages of their policy making processes. For that reason, the ‘Smart Retail Dashboard’-project was set up, which aims to develop a dashboard for helping Flemish cities in transforming their retail policies into data-driven policies. This paper reports on the initial findings of this project. The most important finding is the varying degrees of maturity across cities regarding their smart retail policies. This is illustrated by the current state of data-driven policy making in the retail sector in Flanders. Subsequently we provide an overview of the current challenges reported by mature and less mature cities, which range from the cost and the usability of data to the analysis and interpretation of such data. We discuss how a Smart Retail Dashboard could provide answers to these challenges. This discussion helps city administrations to transform their policymaking processes into data-driven processes and dashboard developers to optimise their development processes.