Public Sector News: Advancing analytics to transform cities

May 2015, Issue 5

Digital Marketing Lead, Public Services Sector, IBM Analytics

The future holds much promise for cities and governments when it comes to advanced analytics, the Internet of Things and the yet-to-be-developed technologies that seemingly pop up every day. Many cities are already embracing technology to improve citizens’ lives. Here are some attention-grabbing stories captured this week. big data and the Internet of Things create smarter cities

Best-selling business author and enterprise performance expert Bernard Marr says that because of big data and the Internet of Things, the term smart city is here to stay. In Glasgow, Scotland, Marr says “the government has offered £24 million ($37 million) for technology that will make the city ‘smarter, safer and more sustainable.’” 

As more cities employ advanced analytics and the Internet of Things, “we will interact and get information from these smart systems using our smart phones, watches and other wearables,” Marr says. “And crucially, the machines will also speak to each other. Garbage trucks will be alerted to the location of refuse that needs collecting, and sensors in our cars will direct us toward available parking spaces.”—Bernard Marr for Forbes 

Open data and analytics are key to the police data initiative

Many law enforcement agencies are seeing the value of using advanced analytics for intelligent policing. As criminals become increasingly savvy and citizens demand answers and transparency, data and analytics offer many possibilities. Recently, the Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing addressed two key principles, as Derek Major noted in his article in GCN. “Open data will be used to increase transparency, build community trust and support innovation, and analytics will be applied to internal police data and processes to identify problems, increase internal accountability and decrease inappropriate uses of force.”—Derek Major for GCN 

New York City fights fire with data

I still find myself in awe of the possibilities and innovations that data and advanced analytics can bring to citizens, cities, governments and our world in general. And we continue to see how predictive policing “helps law enforcement pinpoint where a crime is likelier to occur on a given day, using a number of factors about a certain location.” But police aren’t the only emergency responders benefiting from smart technology, as Brian Heaton notes in his article in Emergency Management. The technology also helps New York City firefighters battle blazes.—Brian Heaton for Emergency Management 

Big data helps Louisville compete economically

Cities using advanced analytics to enhance student retention and promote completing degree programs may seem trivial, especially when compared to using analytics to predict and prevent fires. However, education, and the lack of it, creates a domino effect that impacts a city’s way of life and begs us to apply analytics to effect change. Grace Schneider mentions in her article at The Courier-Journal how information drawn from a variety of sources by the nonpartisan civic initiative, Greater Louisville Project, shed light on Metro Louisville’s low numbers of degree completion. It also revealed significant challenges that institutions, government and workforce advocates can face when trying to reverse declines in the numbers of mid-career workers returning to college. “The project’s new data,” Schneider writes, “offer a snapshot of key factors in local health, job creation and the city’s quality of place with the goal of convening broader conversations about ways to improve Louisville’s economic growth and quality of life.”—Grace Schneider for The Courier Journal 

Embracing the power of big data correlation in government

Mike Walsh, chief executive officer (CEO) at Tomorrow, an innovation consultancy, shared some interesting insights at the recent 2015 Management of Change conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Those insights included how different governments and organizations are using analytics. Paraphrasing Walsh, David Stegon writes in a FedTech article that “data comes in all shapes and sizes—and sometimes unexpected places—but if it presents an opportunity, it should not be ignored.” According to Walsh, organizations, particularly those in government, need to study the people they serve in much the same way anthropologists study populations and cultures—by discovering what they need, rather than attempting to tell them what they want.—David Stegon for FedTech 

How are you seeing technology impact your neighborhood?

Use advanced analytics to transform your city.