Smart data is primed and ready to redesign the world we live in. In many ways, and across a variety of the industries we interact with daily, that redesign is already underway.

Smart data sourcing has already changed the way people shop and bank, and it is poised to radically redefine the car industry. Away from a consumer focus it has also modified the manufacturing and utilities sectors, making both safer and more efficient.

Many believe it will play a key part in limiting the damaging effects of climate change.

Segregated data analytics

Key to understanding how smart data has reshaped these industries comes from knowing how it works. Data analytics is a relatively new industry. It is also incredibly fast-moving, a sector of enterprise that is constantly self-reflecting and remodeling.

Before smart data, digital information was collected at one point before being sent to another stage in a chain, somewhere downstream, for processing. Outside of smart data sourcing, data processing involves the consolidation – including an assessment for outlying information points – and analysis of the information before it can be used to inform decisions.

This method of data processing is done in batches, at infrequent time intervals. At one stage this was the height of modern data analytics. Nowadays, however, the processed data is, often and in many cases, obsolete by the time it is made actionable.

What is smart data sourcing?

Data sourcing is considered smart if it is intelligent enough to make certain of those informed decisions at the point of information collection.

Smart data is in operation on your banking app, informing you of spending limits as and when you make a payment. It is also what enables driverless cars. Without smart data sourcing, data on the proximity of other road users would need to be sent to the cloud, processed, and relayed back to the vehicle before it could inform a decisive action.

The time taken to do so would make the information, and subsequent decision, late, probably redundant and, in the case of the driverless car, dangerous.

Technology and the State of Our Changing Climate

Technological advancement may well have to shoulder a large share of responsibility for the current precarious state of our climate. It is also, however, an integral part of the solution if one is to be found.

A huge part of limiting our economic system’s impact on the environment comes in the form of efficient, auditable accounting. Limits and quotas cannot be successfully applied and enforced if the quantities that cross-reference with those limits are inaccurately compiled.

Emissions accounting has, therefore, acquired considerable significance. In the spring of 2020, a whole host of businesses will disclose their energy use and carbon emissions. This comes as a part of the British government’s bid to redesign the corporate reporting landscape in order to reduce national emissions.

These new parameters are outlined under Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) regulations. Many businesses that now fall within the SECR framework will not have had to disclose their emissions before and some may well not know what this entails (you can find out if your business will be affected by SECR here).

Those that are confused about how SECR may affect the day-to-day running of their business might benefit by learning about Emitwise’s carbon reporting software.

Our team of data scientists and engineers have created two pieces of software that will reshape the sector of carbon reporting. Our free Reportwise software operates within SECR regulations to help efficiently calculate emissions reports for any firm that is interested in or being forced to do so.

Reportwise calculates emissions accurately and efficiently once the user inputs raw data such as electricity usage or cost of employee travel.

Smart Data Sourcing: The Solution to Saving Our Planet?

Carbon accounting, like many of the industries yet to embrace the benefits of smart data, suffers under the weight of inefficient and inaccurate data collection and processing practice. Our second variant of our software, Emitwise Pro, makes emissions reporting an important tool for corporate policy making.

The way emissions are calculated in many businesses is both labour intensive and time consuming.

The professional charged with accounting for corporate emissions, often the EHS, office or energy manager collects key data from various department heads. They may speak to the facilities manager for data on electricity usage. Next, perhaps they interview the procurement manager for figures on how many plastic packages or envelopes, for example, were ordered. Then they speak to the accounts department for the figures on business travel.

The carbon accountant then translates these figures, usually given as a financial value representing the cost of whatever was ordered or used, into a carbon equivalent figure. The firm’s carbon footprint is eventually calculated, usually offline and on a manually altered Excel spreadsheet.

Reportwise will ensure that this calculation is done accurately and with the up-to-date figures as outlined by SECR. Our advanced software, Emitwise Pro, offers this and an even greater level of insight into your company’s emissions.

Emitwise Pro is our smart data solution that modernises and automates the carbon accounting process. Emitwise Pro talks directly with the systems that collect the raw data, with accounting software or with the procurement system, before immediately informing decisions. It translates that raw data into a carbon emissions figure and automatically identifies where reductions can be made.

Our advanced software automatically cleans the data at its collection point. That means translating the 2.50 GBP cost at, say, Costa Coffee into a carbon equivalent figure then and there. It uses machine learning to calculate what product that cost at that store is likely to represent, in this case a coffee, before turning the figure into an auditable carbon equivalent value.

Furthermore, our software, which is easily understood through our user-friendly dashboard, allows its users to simulate the effect of certain decisions. It translates various supply or operations changes into an emissions forecast. Thus, providing the potential for a better-informed plan of action. In an increasingly carbon regulated world, this streamlined software provides policy informing information quickly and accurately.