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The City of New York has long been a leader in the usage of analytics to manage its complex operations and make it one of the safest and efficient big cities in the world.
Through its DataBridge project, the City is now employing cutting edge analytical techniques at an enterprise level to capitalize on opportunities to increase public safety, deliver services more efficiently, and protect its finances. The City engaged Accenture to build a best in class analytical platform and integrate the vast amount of data the City generates on a daily basis to facilitate holistic analysis for trends impacting many aspects of City government.
Accenture also worked with the City to implement the tools, processes, and organizational structure to achieve the fast and sustainable results from the new tools. The new platform allows authorized users to analyze and share current and historical data, enabling predictive modeling to uncover actionable insights buried in the data. These insights help City employees perform their jobs more effectively with a measureable impact that benefits New Yorkers through more responsive and accurate services.
The City of New York has demonstrated the value of analytics through its reliance on over 4,000 performance indicators to successfully manage the City while focusing on accountability and transparency. In an effort to expand the role analytics plays in the City, Mayor Bloomberg launched the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics (MODA). The goal of the MODA focused on creating cross-agency data transparency in order to make more informed operational decisions to root out fraud and waste.
Through the success of the MODA, City leadership recognized that sophisticated use of analytics could go beyond just looking at the past and could provide a better way to understand and prepare for the future. By applying analytics across City agencies, and beyond the scope of financial crime there was a great opportunity to increase efficiency that could directly affect relationships between citizens and the City, and citizens with business.
A powerful analytics infrastructure could enable the City to more quickly and accurately shift resources to where they are needed most. Furthermore, the robust analytics platform could have a cross-agency impact on operational optimization and public safety initiatives.
The City chose to work with Accenture to design and implement this analytics infrastructure (DataBridge), building upon other successful work, such as developing and running Citywide Performance Reporting (CPR), the City’s award winning enterprise business intelligence platform.
Accenture collaborated with the City to enhance its level of analytic maturity. While technology was the critical underpinning to the analytics initiative, the team also focused on how people and process could contribute to the program’s success. The DataBridge project involved three phases:
Building the infrastructure. Establishing an end-to-end infrastructure—including data, data management, methods and consumption—that lays the foundation for a powerful analytical capability.
Assessing the available data. Analyzing the wealth of available City data—data that is created every day as the City operates—The goal was to create a comprehensive picture of City operations and to ensure the most pertinent data was available to conduct meaningful analyses.
Creating a model for sustainability. A third phase of the project involved supporting the team’s efforts to drive the greatest value from the City’s investment in analytics and to establish a scalable structure to support growth. This effort included developing a set of tools to help prioritize initiatives based upon their quantitative and qualitative value and an organization structure to support the work.
Through DataBridge, the City of New York is now equipped to achieve a more robust level of analytics exploration that allows City employees to:
Prioritize issues and better allocate resources.
Make decisions based on true need, not by numbers of complaints from citizens.
Save lives by helping avoid human catastrophe.
Identify and reduce instances of fraudulent, wasteful, abusive, and erroneous activities/transactions.
Identify high-risk or high-cost activities.
Identify patterns in data to reduce risk and stop problems before they happen.
Such projects will continue to drive quantifiable results through revenue saved, increased operational efficiencies, and, in the case of closing down unsafe buildings, the City is reducing the risk to firefighters, emergency responders and civilians resulting in lives being saved. Recently, analytics was used to assist in Hurricane Sandy recovery. The application of analytics will continue to help the City respond faster and be more accountable to the citizens it serves. Because the methodology and approach used in DataBridge to capture results is scalable and repeatable, the City is equipped to gain even greater value from analytics.
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