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Re: Jersey City envisions aggregating massive amount of data from city department to improve services
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Open data makes sense and have people develop apps for free.

Why store the data on a spreadsheet by department? Someone needs to them explain what this is supposed to be.

Posted on: 2013/9/10 12:43
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Jersey City envisions aggregating massive amount of data from city department to improve services
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Jersey City envisions aggregating massive amount of data from city department to improve services and efficiency

By Michaelangelo Conte/The Jersey Journal
on September 09, 2013 at 9:41 PM

The Jersey City City Council received a briefing tonight on an extensive program being implemented by Mayor Steven Fulop plan to collect and aggregate data on the workings of city departments and city infrastructure to improve services and increase accessibility.
Councilwoman Candice Osborne said the Dashboard Program was a ?massive undertaking,? and said she was ?impressed.?

The program?s objectives were to increasing efficiency, reducing spending, increasing revenue, improving services and increasing transparency,? said Fulop Aid Brian Platt during his PowerPoint presentation to the council at tonight?s caucus meeting in city hall.

The program?s five steps are to establish contact with department heads and personnel, create the Dashboard tool in an Excel file, gather data, analyze the data and revise strategies to make improvements, Platt told the council. It is currently in the data collection phase.

?We want to have a single site, website ideally, where the public, city council, anyone can go and just learn about the activity of each department of the city - learn, understand, analyze,? Platt said.

They envision the departments would upload a massive amount of information about daily activies, city infrastructure, crime, fires, development, personnel, inventory, effectiveness, finances, the location of trees, potholes, health violations, etc.

As an example, Platt said that with the system, when the firefighters pulled up at a fire they would immediately be able to know if the structure was supposed to be vacant, if there were any health or building code violations, where the nearest fire hydrant was and was it working, etc.

City officials, for instance, would be able to use the system to determine which sewer and water lines were being repaired most often in order to make more permanent repairs.

As part of the presentation, Mayor?s Aid Dominick Bauer noted that some of the most preliminary information collected has already made a pattern clear and has led to a means of addressing an issue.

The chart he displayed showed there is a very large spike in complaints of garbage in streets and in lots every Friday and he said the majority of garbage pick-ups in the city is done on Thursdays and it is done ?in a messy way.?

The aids stressed that it would be an overwhelming burden for city workers to log in the large amount of information related to each of their activities and said they hoped to get software that would cause the data to be entered as automatically and instantaneously as possible.

?We need software capable of recording data in real time in the field without making it a huge burden on workers,? said Platt. He suggested a phone app that might automatically record a location, file a report, add a photograph to the report, make the information instantly available online and even notify a constituent that the problem had been solved, such as a pothole being fixed.

Bauer said the city Housing and Economic Development Corporation is already using a system that can organize the date and purchasing the software for all city departments would cost about $50,000 per year.

Platt and Bauer were not asking council members to take any action but said they wanted to provide them with the information so they could begin considering the Dashboard Program.

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... iciency.html#incart_river

Posted on: 2013/9/10 6:02
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