road leading to a modern city

Big data solutions for city management

IBM announced the availability of three cloud-based Smarter Cities management centers for transportation, water and emergency management, which will help cities begin to use their own data, as well as open data, to gain new insight into citizen services and improve decision making.

The three solutions are available via the cloud or on premise through a combination of hardware, software, services and preconfigured analytics models for best practices in city management, according to the company announcement.

Transportation management provides citywide traffic visibility to help alleviate congestion, improve traffic management, optimize road capacity, rapidly respond to incidents and enhance the travel experience by delivering advisories to citizens. The solution has been proven to help some cities reduce congestion by 25 percent, IBM said.

Water management provides the ability to use analytics and decision support to improve flood protection, water quality and integrated water management. It also helps forecast future demands on the water supply and helps city leaders coordinate responses to flood or drought. The solution has been proven to help some cities reduce leaks by 20 percent, according to IBM.

Emergency management provides a central point of command for emergency management by harnessing geospatial intelligence and analytics. It gives emergency managers critical information from first responders, scenario planning to streamline response to emergencies and advanced communications for emergency personnel. Some cities using this solution have reduced response time by 25 percent, IBM stated.

“For the first time we have the tools that can be applied broadly across city departments to give us greater flexibility to see reality and turn data into decisions,” said Otto Doll, chief information officer, City of Minneapolis. “In any city, an issue may reside in one department, but the answer lies in another. Analytics can enable a city to tell meaningful stories about what is going on in real-time through data.” 

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