With a population of about 100,000 citizens, the City of Richardson sought to upgrade much of the city's infrastructure which included updating information systems in addition to civic projects. Regarding IT, most city departments were using out-of-date BI software from Crystal Reports. The cumbersome reporting system made it difficult to access, combine, and distribute information, delaying the city's revitalization projects. The city needed a scalable reporting environment that could easily translate large amounts of information into meaningful reports for decision-makers across several departments.
The city turned to Information Builders WebFOCUS platform for an effective reporting system that could accommodate Richardson's diverse needs. The new system integrates reporting with GIS mapping from ESRI GIS software, creating important visualization capabilities. After converting Crystal Reports to WebFOCUS, city workers immediately experienced the benefits with a variety of informative reports. Every department in the city currently runs at least one WebFOCUS report, and many departments run several. In total, more than 500 city workers depend on WebFOCUS to run between 150 and 200 reports.
"While Richardson works toward revitalization, there is an increased need for timely, accurate information to help make real-time decisions regarding city resources," said Eric Matthews, deputy CIO for the City of Richardson. "With WebFOCUS, we put the right tools in place to improve citywide communication and are reaching many of the city council's goals for neighborhood improvements. To date, the reporting environment has provided impressive ROI with savings in both time and money."
The City of Richardson is truly a business intelligence community. City administrators use the BI platform throughout departments including accounting, budgeting, building inspection, municipal court, police, fire, and neighborhood protection. Some departments, such as Neighborhood Services, have even created external reports for the general public. The group, charged with enforcing city codes and enhancing communication with citizens, uses WebFOCUS to maintain a running history of citations for citizens to view. WebFOCUS provides details about citations issued and all follow-up activity so that citizens can see, for example, what inspectors are doing about an abandoned car parked on a neighbor's lawn. Publishing this type of information reassures citizens that, not only is the city writing tickets, but also following through on neighborhood issues until they are resolved.
WebFOCUS is a vital tool for Richardson's fire and police departments. The fire stations use reports to track the operational status of fire hydrants. This task was previously done manually, but now all stations share a digital map linked to a database of information about the status of city hydrants. Police chiefs throughout the city leverage a mobile reporting environment that delivers relevant crime data to their BlackBerrys. For example, officers can obtain information about the criminals being held in the city's jail, including specific details of each person's incarceration. Police and fire chiefs can also track active 911 calls with their mobile devices, discovering the status of active patrol cars, fire trucks, and ambulances.
"Cities like Richardson, with complex infrastructures, benefit enormously from increased information access," said Gerald Cohen, CEO of Information Builders. "The city was able to leverage business intelligence technology from WebFOCUS to empower city officers and city employees to make well-informed more timely decisions. These decisions are keeping revitalization initiatives both on track and on budget. Staff members across the city have the information they need to better support revitalization efforts and run the city more efficiently."
About Information Builders
Information Builders' award-winning combination of business intelligence and enterprise integration software has been providing innovative solutions to more than 12,000 customers for the past 30 years. WebFOCUS is the world's most widely utilized business intelligence platform. It provides the security, scalability and flexibility needed at every level of global extended enterprises. Its simplicity helps create executive, analytical, and operational applications that reach dozens to millions of users. Information Builders' iWay Software suite provides state of the art, multi-purpose, pre-built integration components that address all SOA, application, data and information management requirements. Its integration adapters have been adopted by the leading software platform providers. Together, these products give Information Builders' customers the ability to grow and innovate according to their needs.
Information Builders' customers include most of the Fortune 100 and U.S. federal government agencies. Headquartered in New York City with 90 offices worldwide, the company employs 1,450 people and has more than 350 business partners. More information is available at http://www.informationbuilders.com.
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