Friday, March 21, 2014
Today's Globe has a story about how new Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has added a couple of big screen computer monitors to the mayor's office. They display a steady stream of data from various sources around the city. Seemingly unconnected items like school bus arrival times, code inspections accomplished, and traffic backups taken together paint a minute-by-minute picture of the life of the city and allow Walsh and his staff to identify and address problems faster than has previously been the case. The story makes that point that while much of this data has previously been available, the software that blends in all together and presents it to the user in a comprehensible form is relatively new. Big picture, data driven applications available today keep decision makers from drowning in facts and figures.