Big Data and government: Evidence of the role of Big Data for smart cities

Sounman Hong, Sun Hyoung Kim, Youngrok Kim, Jeongin Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Scholars are becoming increasingly interested in whether and how government use of Big Data will affect public policy outcomes. Despite such growing scholarly interests, however, little evidence exists on the role Big Data can play in improving government service. We undertake one of the first quantitative studies revealing the potential utility and limitations of “Big Data-based policymaking” by exploring its recent use by the Seoul Metropolitan Government. In 2013, the government introduced the “Owl Bus”—a late-night bus system—the routes of which were selected based on government analyses of Big Data relating to citizens’ late-night taxi and mobile phone use. The findings suggest that the average number of passengers utilizing the Owl Bus routes was significantly greater than that on other daytime bus routes with comparable characteristics. That said, we also present the potential limitations of evidence-based policymaking in general, especially when politics and equity considerations are factored in.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBig Data and Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2019.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Information Systems
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Communication
  • Library and Information Sciences


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