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SmartData Platform: Solving Problems Before They Start

The Problem

Few cities can routinely draw insight from the growing number of large data sets that are collected across departments. Chicago receives seven million units of administrative data each day, but has a limited ability to harness the power of this big data to predict outcomes and allocate resources to stop problems before they start.

The Innovation

Chicago’s SmartData Platform will give leaders a tool to analyze “big data” leading to smarter, earlier decisions to address a wide range of urban challenges — from rat infestations, to elevator maintenance to traffic management. The SmartData Platform aggregates the City’s data so that it can be easily analyzed to find patterns and predict outcomes. This information is critical for both real-time decision-making and long-term planning.

The Impact

Chicago’s investment in analytics has already improved the way the City operates. For one initiative, the City used public data to forecast which restaurants are most likely to have health code violations, increasing inspection efficacy and improving food safety for consumers. All software developed for this project will be open-source and shared with other cities.