Jen Q. Public: Advanced analytics for smarter, safer cities

Digital Marketing Lead, Public Services Sector, IBM Analytics

May 28, 10:58 p.m. 

Dear diary,

You hear a lot of “smarter this” and “smarter that” discussion these days about smarter care, a smarter planet and smarter cities. Recently, Bernard Marr wrote about how the Internet of Things creates smarter cities. Smarter cities are now managing traffic patterns, parking, lighting and even garbage trucks that know when garbage is ready for disposal. 

Smarter everything is great, but what I’m really concerned about is not just a smarter city but also a safer city. The 10 o’clock news was chock full of criminal activity tonight, just like every other night. Perpetrators are seemingly always finding a way to defy authority. When will we be able to stay ahead of the perpetrators? 

With so much data being created daily, I would hope that public officials and law enforcement could utilize data to make decisions that impact not just the city’s bottom line but the safety of its citizens. I also often wonder if our cities could be more like my German shepherd, who can smell and sense danger before I’m even aware of it. Can advanced analytics, connected devices and technology empower city services to proactively prevent traffic jams and car accidents? Can they also help law enforcement minimize security breaches and reduce crime?

Last week at the water cooler there was chatter about the IBM Intelligent Operations Center for Smarter Cities that synchronizes and analyzes information gathered from diverse data-collection systems. Supposedly, this technology is able to uncover patterns revealed through analytics and help decision makers anticipate, rather than just react to problems and dispatch first responders to the scene faster. Wouldn’t smarter and safer cities resulting from this technology and advanced analytics be great? Together, these technologies can potentially alert citizens of situations before they become problems.

I would love to see a demo of this system, wouldn’t you?

Until next time, 

Jen Q. Public 

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