“Chicago’s Chief Information Officer Brett Goldstein fundamentally believes the secret to a smarter and more responsive city lies in finding meaning in the vast quantity of data cities collect about themselves.


“I would argue cities are ecosystems, that’s not really something that’s new that people would say,” Goldstein told Mashable. “I would further argue that within the ecosystem there are a series of smaller ecosystems, neighborhoods and what have you, and by understanding how things happen and how they move forward and evolve, we’re able to start making smarter decisions. We start to get more in the business of prevention rather than reacting.”


Goldstein is at the helm of developing the SmartChicago Analytics Platform, a dashboard that will give Chicago’s decision makers a look at myriad data aggregated from across the city’s departments. At the core of the platform is an innovative idea: detecting important patterns in mountains of data in real time. The SmartChicago Analytics Platform is among twenty ideas vying for a $5 million grand prize or four $1 million runners-up prizes being awarded by Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayor’s Challenge, a competition to “inspire American cities to generate innovative ideas that solve major challenges and improve city life.”


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