Smart cities are trending, as technology-enabled efficiencies leave the realm of futuristic thinking and turn into part of our present reality. With the push for the digital transformation of public entities comes an increased focus on information collection and data-based decision-making.
Following the lead of many sectors, government entities are then looking to leverage their multiple data sources (both internal and external, public and private) into knowledge, helping with policy definition and prioritization. All of this begs the question: How can data be translated into information, while guaranteeing easy access and quick analysis?
The proposed solution starts with a periodic ETL process, that centralizes and structures up-to-date information from multiple data sources. Guaranteeing a central cloud location for all data enables cross-analysis and facilitates usage for downstream applications.
This database will then feed a predictive module, which relies on machine learning models to provide forecasts of key city indicators. These can be compared to real values for the generation of deviation alerts or used to support long-term policies.
Both descriptive and predictive angles come alive on a powerful interactive dashboard, that encompasses all data to create a unified vision. Esthetic coherence with the city brand was maintained, on a modular design that can automatically present new added indicators or data sources.
The structured and easy to navigate dashboard, on its web and mobile versions, empowers decision-makers to lean into data when considering investments and policy implementations, on a pull basis, and to identify potential problems and opportunities as a trigger for new measures, by a push effect.
The resulting environment also represented one step further in the creation of a transparent relationship of trust between city governors and the citizens. An adaptation of the visualizations is currently being developed to create a public website where information is open and made available to the general population.
By: Paulo Sousa