Data Overload, What Can Cities Do With All This Data?

Years ago, urban planners worked with far less data and did the best they could with what they had to go on.  Today, many cities are awash in so much data that it seems impossible to manage.  With the right technology, data can be used to improve urban systems from identifying potholes to scheduling trash pickups.  These systems can improve the community, increase citizen satisfaction, and make urban systems work with greater efficiency.

With all the talk about big data, it’s not difficult to imagine that some organizations are struggling with data overload.  According to “Drowning in Data, Cities Need Help,” posted by William Fulton on, the tides have turned and today’s urban planner has more data at their fingertips than they can manage.  Take the website created by the Alliance for Downtown New York and the Center for Urban Science and Progress at New York University as an example of data overload.  Corridorscope can depict the activity in Wi-Fi connections, 311 service requests, and bike-share docking during the course of a day as well as other uses in a region.  Identifying trends with these activities, whether regional or seasonal, can guide a city toward improving city services.  In the case of potholes, for example, city officials can be notified by city workers or residents of where potholes are located, then schedule the services to fix them quickly and affordably.  In the meantime, residents can use mapping services to determine alternate routes to avoid them.

Big data can be difficult to capture and just as difficult to analyze; however, government offices can get started by replacing inefficient legacy systems with a modern enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution.  A robust ERP solution, such as Microsoft Dynamics AX, can provide greater insight and control over organizational information and offers powerful financial and budgetary management features.  In addition, you can bridge the gap with citizens by offering a self-service portal to communicate and track interactions.  Responding quickly can improve citizen satisfaction and lead to improved support.

Capture your data and put it to good use.  Contact AKA Enterprise Solutions to learn how an ERP solution can improve community services and strengthen citizen relationships with greater efficiency.

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Contributor: AKA Enterprise Solutions

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