Transparency, Inclusion Theme of Dublin Data Analytics Partnership
The City of Dublin’s recently created Division of Performance Analytics and Dublin-based Gathi Analytics highlight the unique ways a city can combine data and innovation efforts for the benefit of not only the government, but residents as a whole.
The partnership has been a valuable one, as Gathi assists the performance analytics team with combining various sources of data in one cohesive platform, giving leadership, departments and even residents more information to make decisions or provide insight into how those decisions are made.
This data can be pulled from a variety of government legacy systems sources and presented in different ways for different uses.
For instance, the city implemented an asset management program to annually inspect and predict the condition of assets such as sewers, the roadways, sidewalks, streetlights and the like, in an effort to plan for and properly budget for their repair.
There is also data usage for city events, such as the Dublin Irish Festival. The city utilizes geospatial data to essentially turn Coffman Park into a small city, making operations more efficient by mapping tents, signage, water stations, staffing locations, security checkpoints and more. Another initiative, launched last year, looks into the data and analytics behind things such as ticket pre-sales.
“In some cases, some of the initiatives are just making data accessible to people to start that type of analysis and that type of work,” says Brandon Brown, director of performance analytics for the City of Dublin. “As we start looking at different types of problems that we have established data sets for, we may ask the public to bring some of their talents there to help analyze that or display that.”
Though the work Gathi does with other companies is similar at a high level, Dublin’s Division of Analytics team has a “progressive and innovative approach” to their data strategy that — as a municipality — is even beyond some startup companies, says Alex Avery, vice president of customer value at Gathi. He says the City of Dublin is in a unique position to set the tone for the future of its community with its analytics usage.
“What’s different about the work here is that the leaders of the organization are supportive of a data-driven culture and are looking for more ways to add value to the community, as well as the [city] itself,” says Avery. “They are not just thinking about how they can handle today’s data challenges, but how can we best plan for the future.”
Gathi understands the power of data, says Avery, which is why the company promotes transparency in its usage, “Whether that’s being secure, accurate, or timely; empowering those that are best served by the data means they are receiving the right information at the right time.”
Likewise, a key component of Dublin’s data usage is transparency and inclusion.
Brown jokes that you can almost look at that transparency as self-serving, but Dublin has a technology community that can benefit from this data.
At the same time, the city looks to utilize outreach and engagement programs to acquire assistance in problem solving and analysis of data.
Dublin has a small staff dedicated to this work, so at times they may ask citizen groups to assist with crowd-sourced data. The city also makes their data available to the public, allowing residents to analyze the data or look at things on their own.
As an example, making data available to Dublin students — where they can do projects based on real-world data in their own city — allows children to become more involved in their community, which has been shown to have a positive affect on the future of that community, says Brown.
“The more involved young people become in their community at a younger age, the more likely they are to wanna stay or come back and contribute as an adult,” he says.
That collaboration and inclusion builds a cycle of progress and trust between residents and their local government.
“f you’re showing your citizens what data you do have…and you’re trying to ask them what lens they would put on that data to analyze, it makes it more inclusive,” says Brown.
Avery says it’s impressive for a city of Dublin’s size to be so invested in data and analytics. But like Gathi, Dublin looks at data as a “key to unlock huge potential” when it comes to giving people more insight.
“While the term ‘smart city’ has been thrown around a lot, it’s actually quite uncommon to see large strides made in the technology space by a city of any size, let alone that of Dublin’s,” says Avery. “With enough access to data and enough support around a data-driven culture, any organization can improve processes, build better technology, or, in this case, provide incredible insights for its residents.”
Find more information on Gathi Analytics here.
Our technology series is presented by our partners in the City of Dublin.
Dublin is a city of more than 47,000 residents located just northwest of Columbus, Ohio. The City of Dublin Economic Development team has a vision to make Dublin a Midwest IT Magnet through business leadership and sustainable workforce development. This commitment goes beyond short-term skills training to include long-term strategic and cultural support for the entire Dublin business community. Dublin is one of America’s Top 20 Creative Class Cities and is home to more than 20 corporate headquarters, an entrepreneurial center, 3,000+ businesses, world-class events and the urban, walkable Bridge Street District.