"Chicago is often praised as a leader in civic technology, its analytics projects hailed as exemplary. But does this city truly merit all the kudos?"
"After reading yet another reference to Chicago's innovative use of text analytics (to battle rat infestations, among other things), I poked around a bit to learn more about Chicago's award-winning approach to civic tech," writes Mary Jander.
"Some critics have argued that Chicago's big-data projects are more flash than substance," she says. "Still, there is a lot of visible progress. The city won $1 million from Bloomberg Philanthropies in March 2013 to 'build the first citywide real-time predictive analytics platform.' The Chicago Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT) calls this project the SmartData platform, formerly nicknamed 'Windy Grid,' a real-time analysis system that works alongside a series of separate tools to boost Chicago's analytics capabilities."