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Analytics Tools Assist NYC Mayor

Published: April 04, 2014
Josh Jaquish is a technology and business consulting executive with nearly 20 years of experience. Read More

With the assistance of useful administrative applications such as enterprise resource planning software, both state and city legislatures are investing in predicative analytics tools to help public officials deliver services to their constituents. Although the systems are useful, these programs can also provide cost savings to citizens.

According to Cloud Times, a report from Computer Economics found organizations that switched to cloud computing saved approximately 15 percent in IT spending. The article noted that data center maintenance and IT personnel expenses contributed to the statistic. The analysis did not factor in the speed, flexibility and dexterity offered by cloud solutions.

New York City's civilian statistics

Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, established the Mayor's Office of Data Analytics in 2013, according to GCN, an online magazine covering IT developments. The source asserted the team's primary focus is maintaining and improving DataBridge, an interface from which public departments can access and extract a plethora of regulatory data.

"MODA's analytics projects generally fall into several categories: aiding disaster response and recovery through better information; helping NYC agencies improve the delivery of services; using analysis for insights into economic development; and sharing data," the news source stated.

For example, with the assistance of DataBridge, the Fire Department of New York set up a risk-based system to help them conduct building inspections. The program obtains information from MODA's database and assembles a list of high-priority apartments and commercial centers based upon their age, construction materials and daily occupancy.

Making technology a necessity

Many city officials believe that Bloomberg's use of analytics will encourage further investment in the technology. InformationWeek reported that his successor, Mayor Bill de Blasio, has big plans for the metropolis, citing issues such as income equality, education and environmental sustainability as focus points for his tenure.

Taking a page from his predecessor, de Blasio plans on using cloud applications to assemble data points collected from New York City's multiple job-placement systems into a comprehensive environment. The source noted that the proposed platform may use analytics tools capable of connecting job seekers with employers based upon past work experience and education.

In regard to education, InformationWeek stated that the mayor's office should conduct frequent, large-scale reviews of student records and teaching assessments to produce accurate data on how the city's public schools can improve. On the other hand, de Blasio stated that he will scrutinize the digital information submitted by students to form personalized learning experiences.

The use of technology in public offices will allow legislators to better assess the needs of constituents and how they can provide better services.

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