Business intelligence (BI) is transforming cities. It’s a fact that data provides insight and insights make an organization smarter. Citizens have a choice, as to where they live, play and work. They now have a higher level of expectation on the services facilitated, more convenient services and programs from their local government—government services they can access anytime from anywhere. This opens the opportunity for cities to look into ways they can optimize services, increase productivity and meet the expectations of the community they serve.
"Business intelligence is not just technology but a set of methods, process, architecture and technology components that can assist with better insight into data"
Throughout the digital revolution organizations including cities around the world have been gathering data, as a part of technology adoption to improve service. Cities that went a step further to harvest information from the data collected have made great strides in the efficiency and effectiveness of delivering citizen services. This transition lies in their capability to leverage BI to gain better insight into their data.
Business intelligence is not just technology but a set of methods, process, architecture and technology components that can assist with better insight into data and turn data into actionable information for predictive and prescriptive purposes. Many city governments are implementing or in the process of implementing business intelligence tools, to help them better understand and address the needs of the communities they serve, while operating more productively and cost-efficiently. City departments cannot operate in a vacuum, there is a heightened need to share vital, timely information from a variety of back-end data systems—not only among their own employees, but with their counterparts at other departments. BI makes this possible, by allowing data from the disparate and fragmented sources that exist within single agencies, as well as across multiple departments, to be easily accessed, consolidated, and analyzed in real time.
Cities such as Dallas, TX are implementing data programs that leverage the latest big data technology and combine with system information to derive specific outcomes that help departments. BI also paves the way for increased transparency, allowing cities to facilitate data to the public. This is important because citizens are afforded the opportunity to understand the information the government collects. City departments are also able to offer information as a service, such as a census, weather, online tax records, property liens, and more.
Other areas were cities are benefiting from BI are:
• Eliminating waste, fraud and abuse
• Identify areas of inefficiency
• Crime reduction
• Enabling a customized approach to citizen services
Overall, BI drives the transformation for cities being a smarter city that operates on the power of information and improves service efficiencies with their citizen perspective in mind. Business intelligence provides cities with that much needed change to become data driven, and the next generation of BI will be even more capable and valuable to the cities. How they embrace BI will determine their future in the smart city’s club.