The February 9th Edition of City & State Magazine

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THE VALUE OF ENTERPRISE ANALYTICS By Johnny Cavaliero, Managing Director, Accenture The City of New York is a longtime leader in using analytics to manage complex operations, making it one of the safest and most efficient big cities in the world. For example, analytics helped to identify the 1% of pharmacies that accounted for more than 60% of total Medicaid reimbursements for Oxycodone. Analytics also helped save lives by boosting the inspection “hit” rate of buildings so dangerous that they must be vacated, rising from 13% to 75%. New York used a highly strategic approach to achieve those and other results. The Mayor’s Office on Data Analytics (MODA) was launched with a focus on crossagency data transparency to support more informed operational decisions and to root out fraud and waste. From there, City leaders recognized the potential value of analytics not just for understanding what already happened but also for looking ahead—enabling better insights and preparing for the future. To that end, the City invested in an enterprise analytics platform. Known as DataBridge, the platform helps New York City more quickly and accurately shift resources where they are needed most. Because it operates at the enterprise level, the platform supports cross-agency improvements in operational optimization and public safety initiatives. With an enterprise platform like DataBridge, virtually any city, county or state can achieve robust levels of analytical exploration, enabling employees to: Flushing West

East New York

East Harlem

Long Island City

Bay Street Corridor

apartments there would be available for those making 60 percent of the median income while 15 percent will go to renters making 80 percent of the median and 7 percent to “middle income” households making 125 percent of the median. But a blanket mandate for the city could be counterproductive, said Rachel Meltzer, assistant professor of urban policy at the Milano School. More flexible inclusionary zoning programs have boded well for other cities such as San Francisco, while those with more rigid approaches, like Washington, D.C., have not had such success, she said. “It can be quite dangerous because it assumes all these submarkets are the same, which is not true,” Meltzer said, adding that New York City’s plan will be “a very neighborhoodbased approach, which is exactly how inclusionary zoning is supposed to be.” Meltzer said she expected New York City to mandate the number of affordable units and the size of the subsidy for them based on the profit developers could reap given various cit

projects’ sizes and locations. De Blasio rounded out his housing policy push by saying the city would add 160,000 market rate homes, in addition to the 80,000 affordable units created and 120,000 preserved it committed to securing by 2024. The mayor said expanding the housing stock would ease the tight housing market and drive down demand. The administration also plans to spend $36 million contracting lawyers to represent those in rezoned areas who are being harassed by landlords looking to lure in higher paying tenants. The mayor offered plans for 11,250 affordable units in a proposed housing development at Sunnyside Yards as well, although a spokeswoman for Gov. Andrew Cuomo quickly shot down that idea, noting that the MTA currently uses the land and that it would not be available “for any other use in the near term.” Other new proposals include studio apartments for artists on limited incomes. De Blasio also called on Albany to renew and strengthen rentcontrol laws set to expire in June.

• Prioritize issues and better allocate resources • Make decisions based on true need—not intuition or qualitative information that does not accurately reflect what is happening in the field • Save lives by helping avoid human catastrophe • Identify and reduce instances of fraudulent, wasteful, abusive and erroneous activities • Identify high-risk or high-cost activities • Identify data patterns to reduce risk and prevent problems


Based on our experience supporting New York City’s DataBridge platform, Accenture has identified three fundamental steps to building an enterprise analytics platform: Build infrastructure. An end-to-end infrastructure, including data, data management, methods and consumption, lays the foundation for a powerful analytics capability. Consider using a range of tools for data discovery, predictive analytics, business intelligence and reporting. Assess available data. Virtually every government has a wealth of data—from citizen phone calls to crime reports and inspection results. The challenge is creating a comprehensive picture of operations, ensuring that the most pertinent data is available to support meaningful analyses. In New York, data about physical landscape, including data about streets, buildings and zoning was crucial to creating a picture of the City. Create a model for sustainability. Just as important as infrastructure and data is the long-term growth and sustainability of the platform. Consider developing a set of tools for prioritizing initiatives based on their quantitative and qualitative value, along with an organization structure to support the work. How can enterprise analytics help your jurisdiction support cost savings, public safety and quality of life—delivering public service for the future? Learn more about New York City’s DataBridge platform at

city & state — February 9, 2015

Jerome Avenue Corridor