Cities are currently facing some of the toughest issues they have faced in recent times. Significantly reduced budgets both for the city and other service providers, political insecurity, rising populations and a rapidly changing technological landscape are just some of these interconnected challenges facing our cities. In an era where change is happening at an extreme pace, these challenges are felt in cities both in the UK and abroad.
Therefore, the question must be asked, how can the governing body of a city not only meet current challenges but prepare for future challenges at the same time?
To answer this question, more and more authorities are turning to data analytics. The use of data in predicting change and preventing problems is not new. Consultancies have been doing this for decades and with the move to computers and the growth of the internet an entire industry around data based analytics consultancies has been created.
The growth in the industry has been particularly relevant for local government in the UK. Councils face the complexity of providing densely populated areas with multiple, inter-weaving services whilst managing with ever-decreasing budgets (as shown in the graph below). This has made councils an easy target for requiring accurate analytics without being able to do so in-house.
Thankfully, now there is a different approach to data. In the workplace there is a shift to promote a greater understanding of data and the potential it provides. Data is no longer available solely to the highest bidder but is growing in its accessibility. Through linking data, it is possible to generate insights into the complexity of a population’s needs and therefore is seen as the key to a world of service change. And the complexity of cities is continually generating new questions – how do you provide the services needed when a few miles can provide multiple different demographics?
Analysis can unlock the potential for optimum service solution to residents. Accurate, efficient and affordable analysis can help an authority to make informed decisions in real time. This where open source tools like the Digital Connector can be utilised. To find out more visit the new Tombolo website and sign up to the newsletter.