Cities are heading towards bankruptcy. The credit rating of Stockton, CA was downgraded. Harrisburg, PA is actually bankrupt. It is only a matter of time before Chicago implodes. Since 1995, city debt rose by between $1.3 and $1.8 trillion. While a large chunk of this cost is from waste, more is the result of using intuition over data when tackling infrastructure and new projects. Think of your city government as the boss who likes football more than his job so he builds a football stadium despite your company being in the submarine industry.
This is not an unsolvable nightmare.
Take an effective use case where technologies and government processes were outsourced. As costs rose in Sandy Sprints, GA, the city outsourced and achieved more streamlined processes, better technology, and lower costs. Today, without raising taxes, the city is in the green. While Sandy Springs residents are wealth, even poorer cities can learn from this experience.
Cities run projects in an extremely scientific manner and require an immense amount of clean, quality, well-managed data isolated into individual projects to run appropriately. With an average of $8000 spent per employee on technology each year and with an immense effort spent in acquiring analysts and modernizing infrastructure, cities are struggling to modernize.
It is my opinion, one I am basing a company on, that the provision of quality data management, sharing and collaboration tools, IT infrastructure, and powerful project and statistical management systems in a single SAAS tool can greatly reduce the $8000 per employee cost and improve budgets. These systems can even reduce the amount of administrative staff, allowing money to flow to where it is needed most.
How can a collaborative tool tackle the cost problem. Through:
- collaborative knowledge sharing of working, ongoing, and even failed solutions
- public facing project blogs and information on organizations, projects, statistical models, results, and solutions that allow even non-mathematical members of an organization to learn about a project
- a security minded institutional resource manager (IRM better thought of as a large, securable, shared file storage system) capable of expanding into the petabytes while maintaining FERPA, HIPPA, and state and local regulations
- the possibility to share data externally, keep it internal, or keep the information completely private while obfuscating names and other protected information
- complexity analysis (graph based analysis) systems for people, projects, and organizations clustered for comparison
- strong comparison tools
- potent and learned aggregation systems with validity in mind ranging from streamed data from sensors and the internet to surveys to uploads
- powerful drag and drop integration and ETL with mostly automated standardization
- deep diving upload, data set, project, and model exploration using natural language searching
- integration with everything from a phone to a tablet to a powerful desktop
- access controls for sharing the bare minimum amount of information
- outsourced IT infrastructure including infrastructure for large model building
- validation using proven algorithms and increased awareness of what that actually means
- anomaly detection
- organization of models, data sets, people, and statistical elements into a single space for learning
- connectors to popular visualizers such as Tableau and Vantara with a customize-able dashboard for general reporting
- downloadable sets with two entity verification if required that can be streamed or used in Python and R
Tools such as ours significantly reduce the cost of IT by as much as 65%. We eliminate much of the waste in the data science pipeline while trying to be as simple as possible.
We should consider empowering and streamlining the companies, non-profits, and government entities such as schools and planning departments that perform vital services before our own lives are greatly effected. Debt and credit are not solutions to complex problems.
Take a look, or don’t. This is a fluff piece on something I am passionately building. Contact us if you are interested in a beta test.