With many government organizations facing growing environmental challenges, issues with sustainability, and increased pressures on supply and value chains, cities are looking for more efficient and economical ways to deliver services. CGI collaborated with a Canadian municipality to help them address these challenges by updating their data-driven decision-making capabilities.
Removing data silos to implement a strategic decision-making initiative
Our client, a large suburban municipality, had a strategic initiative involving updated data-driven decision making. But with divergent functions such as permitting and inspection, planning, land use, and parks and recreation all stored in separate business silos, there was no simple or automated access to centralized data. In order to implement this initiative, the CGI analytics team developed an analytics strategy roadmap and a data governance framework, updated their data-driven decision-making capabilities, and removed the silos leveraging best in class cloud data platform and analytic/AI capabilities.
Delivering results with focused initiatives
Working in collaboration with Microsoft, CGI proposed three initiatives: first, standing up the Azure infrastructure; second, creating an analytics strategy leading to a long-term road map; and third, developing their advanced analytics and AI outputs, including interactive dashboards.
Because this was the municipality’s first cloud engagement, it involved migrating all of the data from on premise transactional systems to the Azure cloud. In addition to working with data flow, data quality, and master data management, cataloging the data, providing business contexts, and establishing processes to understand the source of truth, we also developed visualizations and outputs that allowed the municipality to join the data in new ways and gain new insights.
We prioritized and worked through several different use cases for this client, including streamlining permitting and inspections for the Parks and Recreation division and delivering a balanced scorecard. We also implemented predictive analytics for the inspections and permitting processes and leveraged geospatial analytics to identify additional opportunities for improvement. These played a significant role in mitigating risk across the city.
Using data-driven insights to meet organizational objectives
Because we were able to implement this strategy quickly, our client had a quick return on their cloud implementation investment. Within weeks, they were able to start leveraging data in new ways, getting more data-driven insights on how to meet their organizational objectives.
As part of our ongoing work with this client, we initiated a knowledge transfer strategy which was part of the roadmap so that operations of the data management platform and ongoing development of data visualization and dashboard became city functions. CGI remains available as a coach as needed, and advise about innovative technologies when they become available. Right now, for example, we’re implementing some of the newly released Microsoft Azure technologies for this client.
Delivering project success for government organizations
CGI’s expertise, our relationship with Microsoft, and our reputation were key factors in our ability to successfully complete this project. As an early implementer of Azure solutions, CGI first did this type of work prior to 2017. At that point, many of the technologies we worked with were still new and innovative and were evolving through new Microsoft releases. We also broke ground as one of the first firms to work with a municipal government to implement Azure cloud data platform, PowerBI Premiun and Azure Machine Learning, and we found solutions to streamline the privacy analysis and approvals related to the data that government organizations could store on the cloud in Canada.
When choosing to work with CGI, our client looked to CGI’s demonstrated expertise and experience. In addition to leaning on CGI’s managed services and best practices for implementing the solution technically, we also had the subject-matter expertise and end-to-end capabilities to do the strategy work and to deliver the outputs.
Since the completion of this project, other municipal organizations have looked at the geospatial model we developed with the intention of having a similar output. Finally, we’re also performing ongoing work with several provincial ministries, all as a result of this successful early implementation.