How can technology improve cities?
I have focused on that one key question throughout my career, where I’ve spent a fair amount of time working with or within city government. Technology can clearly do a lot to improve how cities work, but I’m most interested in technologies that offer city leaders new tools to truly lead with data. And that is why I joined Stae as CEO this fall.
From 311 to 911, from managing bikeshares to snowplows, from assessing garbage pick up to hospital visits to air quality, cities have long worked with complex data sets. Now that new technologies like sensors and new commercial vendors like Waze are on the scene, cities increasingly contend with a dizzying array of data sources, which often don’t speak to each other or integrate easily with traditional sources of government data.
Stae offers a solution: a modern data management platform, enabling city leaders to make sense of all this data, while saving resources and increasing transparency. Our approach addresses the actual workflow (and pain points) for public agencies:
- First, it ingests data easily from nearly all public and private sources, regardless of whether they are in messy Excel files or from cutting edge smart sensors.
- Second, it offers tools for non-technical staff to easily integrate, visualize, and analyze all this data in one place, in real time.
- And third, it offers a modern open data solution, allowing cities to share all this data easily with the public, vendors, and other partners.
Sitting alongside city leaders from Atlanta to Jersey City to Seattle, Stae has developed a powerful product tailored for local government users. Over the past year, Stae conducted a “sandbox” pilot program in Louisville, KY; Greensboro, NC; Syracuse, NY; San Francisco, CA; and Guilford County, NC, and emerged with three very clear ways in which we can most immediately help cities solve data problems.
Here’s how Stae can quickly add value for cities right now:
- Micro-mobility Management: As cities add new micro-mobility (scooter or bike share) programs, Stae can help manage them via one-click integration with operator data feeds. City leaders can easily view vendor data alongside other city data, and leverage data coming from GPS sensors to ensure safety, improve planning, and assess accurate licensing fees.
- Modern Open Data Management: Open data portals provide transparency and help developers create apps for citizens, but the systems many cities use are outdated. Stae provides a modern open data infrastructure, including an easy-to-use API, automated visualization, and ways for citizens to submit their own data.
- Internet of Things: Cities are aggressively piloting “smart city” innovations (from smart lighting to fleet management to air quality sensors) but often must log in to different vendor systems for each new technology. Stae provides a centralized way for cities to move quickly and manage all these systems in one place, where sensor data can be easily aggregated with citizen requests, and performance can be published easily.
With a well-earned, clear focus on how Stae can solve real problems that we know cities are facing right now, our next step is to take these solutions out to cities around the country. With a number of promising conversations underway, we expect to be officially working with myriad cities in the coming weeks and months.
I invite you to follow us as we share our stories of how we’re working to make cities work better with modern data management. Please get in touch to learn more about how Stae can help you manage your civic data, follow our blog, and follow us on Twitter.