We hear a lot about how big business is benefiting from big data analytics. But how is today’s treasure trove of information helping us in our everyday lives?

Below are two great examples:

IoT Gives Power Back to the People… and a Better Night’s Sleep!

A recent Financial Times article, Grassroots Groups Use ‘Internet of Things’ Data to Tackle Damp and Noise, tells the groundbreaking story of how Barcelona-based Ideas for Change is helping citizens use big data and sensors from Smart Cities for their own purposes. Together, they’re tackling everything from late night noise at local bars to mold and mildew inside their homes.

The key to success: Providing citizens with access to data.

According to Ideas for Change CEO Mara Balestrini, after years of data only being in the hands of experts, it “now has to be democratized.”

Read the full Financial Times post here – great stuff!

Waze Shares Data for the Greater Good

Waze’s Connected Citizens Program (CCP), offers partner cities, transportation departments and first responders a “free data exchange, yielding actionable insights and improved mobility on a local and global scale,” according to the company. In July, Waze announced an expanded partnership with Esri to improve the benefits of its CCP by making it easier for partners to interpret its data and apply it to real-time decision making.

One Example: The city of Norfolk, Virginia’s Office of Resilience is using data collected from Waze users combined with big data analytics to better understand when and where the city’s streets are flooding. This information is helping the Office predict future street flooding with plans to push out alerts to drivers in real-time to help divert traffic. Further down the road, the city is looking at the automation of traffic lights and signs.

Get the full story from the Associated Press here.

Want to see more? Gartner is currently making its recent research note, How to Use Data for Good to Impact Society, freely available – Read it here.