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GCN : August 2013
CITIES OF BIG DATA CASE STUDY 32 GCN AUGUST 2013 • GCN.COM consumption. The water project started in 2010 with 400 volunteers and lasted for 12 months. Six hundred total households par- ticipated. Of that number, 300 were active portal users while 100 of the volunteers never accessed the portal, Kohlmann said. The next phase offered the portal to nearly 4,000 participants, including small busi- nesses, and about 1,000 people signed up. Overall, 77 percent of the participants said they improved their water usage and understanding by taking part in the study, and 61 percent took specific action to con- serve water. Kohlmann participated in the pilot and through the portal discovered leaks --- dripping faucets, a toilet running, an unknown outdoor faucet. With the data she quantified how much water was being wasted: 4 gallons per hour. Now Dubuque officials are undergoing a project with the city's water meter vendor, Neptune Technologies, to leverage smart meters for 23,000 households in the city. The city is not abandoning the IBM portal, it is just starting to engage additional ven- dors to help determine how residents and city officials can monitor water consump- tion. The Neptune solution does not have the breadth of analytic capabilities found in IBM tools, Kohlmann said, noting that IBM Cognos and Websense were used with the project. "We still continue our relationship with IBM as we work on new portals and proj- ects," she said. "I think the important thing [to understand about] analytics is it is not necessarily one size fits all, and one solu- tion even. There can be multiple best fits for users, depending on the needs." In spring 2011, Dubuque started a pilot project for electricity with Alliant Energy, the local electric provider. The project in- volved putting smart electric meters in 1,000 volunteer households --- the data was available to the city and IBM for anal- ysis. Whereas water meters were read ev- ery 15 minutes; information on electric usage was available hourly. The portal allowed people to not only see electric readings but to do compara- tive data, giving people an idea of how they stack up against other people. In addition to showing usage and compara- tive data, the interactive portal allowed participants to set goals and receive alerts if they exceeded a threshold. Households using the solution reduced their electric- ity usage by as much as 11 percent, ac- cording to Dubuque officials. Unleashing data through the cloud and advanced analytics will allow Dubuque and other cities to cut across siloes of data, Kohlmann said. "If I have an inef- ficient appliance that is using a lot of water, it is probably also using a lot of electricity." Or if data shows someone is not using water or electricity as much as they should, there may be social or public health issues that need to be addressed. • Migrating to the cloud is not as simple as one may think. Join us for this second webcast in this three-part Government Voice series which will feature a discussion on cloud transition that ensures the availability and security of cloud operations. You will learn: migration objectives and the technology requirements for meeting these goals migrating to the cloud of the cloud platform and next steps for ensuring its success REGISTER NOW AT: www.gcn.com/MigratingtoCloud BROUGHT TO YOU BY GCN AND SPONSORED BY AKAMAI & DLT SOLUTIONS ENSURING A SUCCESSFUL MIGRATION TO THE CLOUD Webcast Series on demand