Will Big Data and analytics play a role in how cities repair potholes and improve transit systems? The city of Minneapolis says yes and is taking steps to implement new smart-city technology to improve insight through data analytics.

The city of Minneapolis is currently using IBM Intelligent Operations software from IBM, www.ibm.com, Armonk, N.Y., delivered via the cloud to track more than 1,250 metrics and key performance indicators to ensure it is on pace with its goals and the expectations of citizens.

While the technology can be used for a range of city tasks such as within a police department or city hall, Minneapolis is also able to use the technology for permitting and construction, identifying when potholes or transit systems need to be repaired, for example.

With this Big Data technology, city employees and decision makers have access to analytics tools that can be used to gain insight into situations.

Consider this: To improve permitting, city officials can now use a specialized mapping system to analyze construction permits for the city, determining which city streets the maintenance department is already working on and needs to work on in the future. Changes can also be made to analyze city resources. This type of data gives city officials an understanding into permitting trends.

For construction companies this means cities using this type of technology will have greater knowledge about into what needs to be done and will address it by making the necessary changes to potholes or transit systems, for example.

While Minneapolis is just one example of a city that is beginning to use smart-city technology to manage business processes, there are a number of other cities that have moved toward Big Data and analytics to make decisions about permitting and other business processes. It is a trend construction companies might want to keep an eye on.