SAS and Smart Cities Council to help cities transform with analytics
The Smart Cities Council (SCC) convenes government entities, technology providers, experts and others to help cities address pressing challenges in new ways. With the explosion of big data, it is clear that data management and analytics are essential to addressing smart city priorities like easing congestion, improving urban services delivery and mitigating environmental threats. The Smart Cities Council is the world’s largest smart cities network and the leader in smart cities education. The Council envisions a world where digital technology and intelligent design are harnessed to create smart, sustainable cities with high-quality living and high-quality jobs. It helps cities that seek to achieve its three core values of livability, workability and sustainability.
“Analytics and data management are embedded deeply in the Smart Cities Framework, which is used by thousands of cities around the world,” said Jesse Berst, SCC Chairman. “SAS has 40 years of experience helping governments run more effectively, reduce costs and meet evolving citizen needs. That expertise will be invaluable to our members.”
Cities will be drawing from an array of technologies to handle current and future data challenges, said Paula Henderson, Vice President of the SAS State and Local Government Practice.
“Collecting, cleaning and integrating data are foundational to good analytics. But while data management will always be a priority, it’s become more critical to process and analyze the large amounts of information coming from new sources on a daily basis,” said Henderson. “Imagine millions of transactions per second flowing in from water meters, the power grid, a city’s website, even the auto fleet. That’s way beyond what legacy technologies can capture and analyze.”
The IoT promises many advances, including water metering systems that alert citizens to possible leaks in their homes. Sensors embedded in road surfaces could detect weather, predict road traffic or spot emergency vehicles so a city could quickly adjust speed limits and traffic flow. Data generated from a town’s vehicle fleet could predict when a truck is likely to need maintenance. Building sensors in earthquake-prone cities could alert to an eminent seismic event.
Cities do have some choices when looking to understand their data. High-performance analytics quickly process data that’s at rest, in the cloud or otherwise in storage. Event stream processing, on the other hand, analyzes massive amounts of data in motion, in near-real time – when answers are needed quickly. Contextual analytics is valuable for spotting trends and topics buried in unstructured data such as social media. And data visualization enables everyday users to visualize large amounts of data through easy-to-grasp charts and graphs.
But future demands will be even greater, warns Henderson. “To handle larger data challenges, such as sensors in IoT, we’ll need ‘analytics at the edge.’ That’s where cities act on data at the source without pausing to ingest, transport or store it. This is the next frontier that we are anxious to explore alongside the Smart Cities Council and its members.”
SAS Analytics helps cities, states and countries worldwide improve citizen services, prevent losses from fraud, preserve natural resources, promote transportation alternatives and more. SAS offers a wide array of data management, business intelligence and analytics solutions, and collaborates with governments to create innovative offerings tailored to specific departmental and agency goals.