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March 5, 2013


Miami-Dade Infuses Intelligence into Operations

By Marie Lingblom

Florida’s Miami-Dade County is using a new intelligent business system with a module that alerts parks managers about leaky pipes in real time. Water savings from the technology investment is projected at $1 million this year, and that savings is earmarked to support after-school programs and swim lessons for 10,000 kids this summer.

The water sustainability analytics module is part of a sweeping Smarter Cities initiative to improve services for residents and help agencies share information among the 35 municipalities in the county. Miami-Dade — home to more than 2.5 million residents and employer of 25,000 people — is using Big Data analytics and cloud computing to help county leaders make better decisions.

IBM is working with Miami-Dade County on its mission to modernize and improve the predictive management capabilities of systems tied to law enforcement, transportation and water. The underlying mission is focused on cutting across organizational boundaries to provide better services to residents.

Angel Petisco, CIO of Miami Dade County, says these new capabilities get to the heart of his role as CIO, ensuring he takes the vision of the Miami-Dade leadership team and interprets it with the departmental capabilities of the County.

The key, says Petisco, is to take data through proper analysis and mining, particularly analytics, and convert it into useful information. The new, more intelligent information allows a decision maker to effectively hone in on a aspect of service delivery that makes a difference. Taken more broadly, he said, it’s delivering an ability to build a true ecosystem around the goals you are trying to accomplish. “That’s the real value,” he says.

Using an intelligent dashboard from IBM, the goal is to allow city and county leaders to harvest massive amounts of information from one department and immediately share it with multiple departments to improve access to valuable and often time-sensitive information.

Miami-Dade County, like cities and towns everywhere, is facing shrinking budgets, aging infrastructure and the need to deliver more services with fewer resources. At the same time, there is also the work of driving economic development and job creation.

Miami-Dade, says Mayor Carlos Gimenez, is working to solve some of its biggest challenges with advanced technology and public-private partnerships. Value is being delivered to residents through a series of interlocked initiatives that use the new system to help departments across the county collaborate and share information. In addition to the water management module mentioned above, here are some others:

Intelligent Policing: Technology for intelligence analysis, lead generation and criminal identification and investigation is helping Miami-Dade Police Department reduce the time it takes officers to identify leads, investigate crimes and solve cases. It’s also removing barriers to information sharing with other law enforcement agencies.

Government Transparency: Consolidated analytics across finance, human resources, budgeting, planning and all transactional departments provide county employees access to reporting and analysis tools to help make better decisions. The cloud-based system also provides the county’s 2.5 million residents financial transparency, and access to key metrics and detailed spending information via the Internet.

Transportation Efficiency: Providing real-time updates via new mobile phone applications and applying analytics to better understand traffic patterns and ridership on public transit will help prepare for future growth without investing in new infrastructure projects. A pilot transportation project will help improve traffic flow and drive economic development for local business in the Brickell community through increased ridership on public transit and bringing more people into the county’s parks.

In terms of technology, the county uses IBM Global Business Services, Research and Software analytics technology found in IBM’s Intelligent Operations Center (IOC) for Smarter Cities. The county is also using SPSS predictive analytics software, Cognos business intelligence software, i2 Intelligent Law Enforcement solution, a private cloud system on zLinux hosted on an IBM System z mainframe and IBM PureFlex System.

“Making the county more efficient and cutting the red tape that slows economic progress are priorities, and this initiative with IBM is a great way to accomplish both of those goals,” says Gimenez.

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