Category Archives: Dallas TX – USA

Let’s ask some questions on city data

Let’s ask some questions on city data
To understand the city’s various strata
Which buildings are at greatest risk of fire?
Which neighborhoods state are most dire?
Or when did the crime rate start to crater?

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The life of a patrol officer is full of stress

The life of a patrol officer is full of stress

Responding to 911 calls can be such a mess

Important information is scattered all around

Relevant context is so tricky to be found

Dallas’ finest need intelligence on a single button-press

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Week 2 in Dallas: Horses, Patrol Cars and Libraries….

Highlight of our first weekend here was an outing to Austin Ranch (near DFW ariport) for some horseback riding.  It was a beautiful day, the horses behaved well, and after the ride we had a great steak dinner in the afternoon sunlight.

Joe Doria on his horse, also called Joe - pushy and troublesome.  And the horse wasn't much better....

Joe Doria on his Arabian horse, also called Joe – pushy and troublesome. And the horse wasn’t much better….


Steak dinner in the afternoon sun.

Monday it was back to work and a meeting with the AC Gonzalez (City Manager).  Throughout the week we meet a great range of city officials and community leaders.  We spent time with the Crimewatch Executive Board (CWEB),  and had a morning finding out what it’s really like in a police control car.  At the end of the week we visited Dallas Central Library.   They have some great exhibits, including one of the first prints of the American Declaration of Independence, and one of the original Shakespeare Folios.  They also have a inspiring leader in Jo Guidice, who shared her vision of libraries as information and learning centres, and helped us understand their role in economic regeneration.

We’re taking the evening off and hoping to see some hockey (Dallas Stars vs. Florida Panthers) – but back to work tomorrow, as we enter our final week and get to work in earnest on our report…..

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Public safety needs community engagement

Public safety needs community engagement
Apathy and mistrust just leads to mutual enragement
So, Dallas, share data fearlessly
Let the community interact with you seamlessly
And together, y’all can be stars in a single strong firmament.

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There are data silos in Dallas

There are data silos in Dallas
Leaving them as is would be callous
So data we will integrate
And innovation we will stimulate
And help make Dallas even more marvelous.

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Making Dallas safer for prosperity and neighborhood revitalization

With week one in the rear view mirror, the SCC Dallas team is absorbing and contemplating all we’ve learned in a relatively short period of time.  Dallas is a great city with a very bright future.  The city leaders are very ambitious to do more and bring prosperity, vitality, and hope for a better life to the people who live here.  Continuing to make Dallas a safer place is the key focus of this Smarter Cities Challenge, and in particular how data and technology can be the enabler in doing this.
This past week we spent the majority of our time engaging and listening to city and community leaders.  A very interesting and intriguing week for sure.  What I found without exception are very smart and dedicated people who apply their skill and talent to the work of the City.  I have been energized through meeting each of them.   We will continue to do more interviews in the first part of this coming week, and then we will get on to developing some ideas and recommendations for them to consider.
I would be remiss to not talk about my fellow IBMers in this first blog.  We have quickly come together and feel like I’ve known each of them for a long time already.  We are all very complementary in what we bring to this, kudos to our SSC Program Leaders in the design.  We have a great balance on our team including respect, comradarie, pride (and humor) — and the promise of bringing real value to the challenge that is before us.
Looking forward to next week and sharing more!

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Dallas Smarter Cities Challenge is up and running….

We’re one week in to the Dallas Smarter Cities Challenge and we’ve barely had time to breathe, let alone blog….

Our week started with a press conference at City Hall, which got picked up by a couple of local TV channels: KTVT (CBS) and KXAS (NBC)

Since then we’ve had the chance to meet some truly inspiring leaders.  From the Police Department, Chief Brown and Chief Cato shared their visions for the city and the future of policing – as well as their personal testimonies.  The community affairs team talked to us about their pioneering work to improve the profile of the police and build trust with the community.  We’ve worked extensively with the CIS team (the city’s IT department), trying to understand how data and information are managed.  We had a tour of the city to see lots of different neighbourhoods, and we met with some of the community leaders who have led the transformation of run-down areas in the city.

Wherever we go, we meet people who are devoted above all to the city and its communities.   Leaders with a lifelong commitment to the city, and a determination to make it a better place – such as Chief Brown and Chief Cato in Dallas PD.  Many employees of the city who simply want to do their best and serve.  And genuinely inspirational community leaders – people like Mike Przekwas and Anna Hill, who in their very different ways have transformed Cedars and Dolphin Heights with determination, persistence and charm.

The team is coming together too…we had a good chance to bond as we watched the Superbowl on our first evening.   We have Joe ‘Mainframe’ Doria and Raj ‘Analytics’ SukHramani Judy ‘HR’ Lyne and local girl Mandi ‘Security’ Hanks to keep us safe and within policy;  and Anand ‘Research’ Ranganathan who’s going to do the really clever technical stuff.  Plus myself, the lone Brit, doing my best to correct everyone’s spelling (colour has a ‘u’ in it, folks!)  and understand the rules of American Football.  You can see us all in the photo from the launch press conference….

The Dallas SCC team...Mandi, Joe, John, Judy, Anand and the opening press conference

The Dallas SCC team…Mandi, Joe, John, Judy, Anand and Raj…at the opening press conference

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