I must admit, I’m skeptical of data.

It’s not that the quantification of measurable things bothers me as much as the attempt to measure what’s not easily measured–along with the lost context that is inevitable when data here is applied there.

But it’s not all bad. As technology becomes more seamlessly embedded in our lives–and more visible to boot–a logical deduction would be that it should begin improving our lives in significant ways, something the video below from IBM visualizes extremely well.

“City Forward is a philanthropic donation of services and technology from IBM, which applies expertise and technologies to offer insight into specific metropolitan issues. IBM recognizes the value of building a smarter planet, starting with building smarter cities. The future of our cities depends upon the boundless energy and insights made possible when people work towards common goals and understanding. City Forward helps do just that by enabling a greater understanding of the challenges our cities are facing.”

That leaves us with two possibilities: The video is full of misleading hyperbole, rhetoric, and marketing speak, or data is evil after all.