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less crime in targeted location
It’s no joke when we say the City of Boston has raised the “BAR” on creating a more livable, cleaner and safer city—not to mention a more efficient and productive one. Winner of the Driving Digital Government Award, Boston About Results (BAR) is the City’s performance metrics system that turns real-time data into measurable outcomes. This gives City of Boston officials and residents the ability to monitor how city agencies are performing, and pinpoint areas for improvement.
overdue city permits,
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Committed to helping the citizens of Boston
City of Boston
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
US$2.98 billion (FY2013 Budget)
Service, Sustainability, Information Technology
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform, SAP Strategy Management, SAP HANA
Incorporated as a town in 1630, and as a city in 1822, Boston is one of America's oldest metropolises. What began as a homesteading community has become the economic and cultural hub of New England, as well as a center for social and technological innovation. For nearly 400 years, Boston has worked to ensure that their residents receive the best possible municipal services.
Today, this goal is supported by a commitment to measuring performance against strategic priorities for all city departments and providing transparency into city operations. The statistical tools in BAR enable city officials to continuously evaluate services and improve quality of life.
The City of Boston has always had great intentions of delivering good personal customer service.
Boston prides itself on being one of the most livable cities in the USA. Twenty-one diverse neighborhoods offer more than 600,000 residents the opportunity to taste, touch, and experience things from all over the world. Neighbors benefit from exceptional medical facilities, vibrant neighborhood business districts, and a solid network of parks, community centers, and libraries.
“We think that government truly needs to be transformed – think about old problems in new ways”
Local governments are tasked with providing centralized services that effectively use the latest technology. Automated, fast, friendly, responsive service has become the new face of government to the public, and the City of Boston is delivering results from the perspective of an open government that collaborates with citizens.
The City of Boston wants to turn performance management into performance improvement, engage citizens through multiple channels and empower them via direct interaction, and demonstrate accountability through performance reporting. Boston also wants to help businesses grow and thrive by boosting the performance and consistency of their permit inspectors.
Finally, to identify and respond to properties where there is persistent criminal activity and violations of sanitation and building codes, Boston needs to supply their inter-departmental Problem Properties Task Force with the right tools and information.
Data sharing is a large part of Boston’s efforts to improve the quality of life for their residents. But the City aspires to elevate BAR from an interesting data collection effort to a citywide performance management system accessible in real-time from any device.
As an existing customer of SAP, the City of Boston uses SAP technology for data analytics in three different ways. First, the city implemented SAP Strategy Management to track high-level strategies and goals. With SAP BusinessObjects business intelligence solutions, the City of Boston connects day-to-day operations to their strategic goals. With SAP HANA, Boston is now ready to find the hidden stories in big data, to become a predictive and proactive government.
The best kind of partnership: Start small, but think big
By implementing the SAP HANA platform, Boston now offers interactive scorecards for 18 city departments, a portal for viewing the city’s raw data, and several internal dashboards that help educate decision-making in all 45 city departments.
In addition to creating a compelling, interactive public web presence for their citizen-facing performance management tools, the City of Boston and SAP worked together to develop an iPad/iPhone app called Citizen Insight that gives the public a mobile tool for monitoring performance metrics.
The City’s ability to use data to rapidly benefit the public was tested by the tragic aftermath of the bombings at the 2013 Boston Marathon. Experts estimate that the bombings cost the local economy more than $300 million in lost wages, retail sales, and infrastructure damage.
Rapid response to a tragic situation
Winning the Digital Government Achievement Award
The complete overhaul of the technology that supports performance management in the City of Boston is changing how city departments use data and is improving how citizens can monitor the City’s performance. The BAR system, powered by SAP, has also attracted accolades from both civic and technology organizations, such as the Driving Digital Government Award.
With SAP solutions, the City of Boston tracks more than 2,000 unique key performance indicators. These monthly and quarterly KPIs help ensure that city performance is tied to strategic goals. Additionally, using real-time data from SAP HANA, the Problem Properties Task Force has been able to reduce crime rates in targeted areas by 55%, and the city has been able to reduce the number of overdue permits from more than 600 to fewer than 10.
A more predictive and productive city with analytics
Enabling local business growth – easier and faster
City officials are pleased with how tools powered by SAP help employees be more effective at their jobs. Whether it’s fixing potholes or enabling elderly residents to stay in their homes, easy-to-use SAP tools help put information in one place so people who need it can get a comprehensive, real-time picture of what needs to be done.
A city that is connected with their citizens
By using data more effectively, the City of Boston is able to make better decisions at both the strategic and operational levels. That means Boston can devote more of their resources to serving the public in ways most meaningful to citizens.
In the next 5-10 years…
“This is a great time to be in government, because we have all these cool things happening in technology. Look at the advancements in mobility and cloud computing and social media and what that offers us in terms of communicating with our residents. We can now create engagement channels that allow the constituent to see and feel and touch what their government is doing — and develop that trust relationship back with government.”