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ICF selects a theme each year to supplement the six indicators of the ICF Method on which the selection of the Smart21, Top7 and Intelligent Community of the Year is based. In the 2017-2018 Awards cycle, ICF focused on Humanizing Data because data has become the heartbeat of the new economy and the lifeblood of smart public policy in the 21st Century.Two words born in the mid-1990s still shape our understanding of data’s central role. Engineers at Silicon Graphics, an early tech innovator, began talking about “Big Data” at about the same time the words “Open Data” first appeared in a report, which advocated for the free exchange of scientific information. Whether big, open or both, data has become the beating heart of business and government. By fueling a better-informed society, it supports human hopes and human potential. In this report, ICF provides many examples of what the top Intelligent Communities of 2018 have done to humanize data for the economic, social and cultural benefit of their communities.