Harvard Agrees Data-driven Inspections Identify Risks and Keep Communities Safer

Harvard Agrees Data-driven Inspections Identify Risks and Keep Communities Safer

July 30, 2019

There are countless articles on the concept of data being the new currency, but we think the real value of data lies in its ability to make us all work smarter and keep communities safer. A recent study from the Harvard looked specifically at 10 ways data can make government better. This study is part of the group’s Operational Excellence in Government project, which aims to identify operational efficiency themes across state and local governments and share those broadly for improvements to how state, local, and federal governments serve citizens.

  • Chicago saw a 20 percent improvement in operational efficiency in its restaurant inspection process. This allows the city to be more proactive in identifying health code violations, improving public health by shutting down establishments in violation a week sooner than before.
  • Montgomery County, MD used the code from the Chicago application and was able to find 27 percent more violations three days sooner than with the existing process.
  • A different model in Boston found 20-25% more violations in restaurants and there are plans to expand the application to other inspection models and processes that have a pass-fail result.

Another key area of using data to make government smarter was the use of risk assessment models in regard to water management. One application cited was a project that used a predictive model in the city of Syracuse to identify the water mains at greatest risk of breakage, so that they could be prioritized for preventive repairs. The model used 12 years of water main break data along with data about the pipes and the geology of where they are laid as well as the condition of the roads that ran over them. They used this data to strategically deploy sensors to the most at-risk areas, improving maintenance efficiency by six times. At ARInspect this is the exact type of data activation and technology application that we are empowering federal, state and local government agencies with, in order to digitally transform and keep their communities safer like never before!

In our work, we’ve seen our customers achieve a 60% increase in efficiency with the implementation of a data-driven inspection platform. A state environmental agency moved from a manual, paper-based process (prevalent in the inspection community) to a process where all data is collected on tablets and sent directly into agency systems. Inspectors can now pull up maps as well as take pictures and annotate them directly on the tablet before uploading them into the agency system and the site file. From the back office, it uses predictive algorithms to feed inspectors prioritized schedules by identifying regulated sites with the highest risk for regulatory non-compliance. The creation of this mobile app, took months, not years, and immediately had a meaningful impact on productivity.

These benefits, of course, extend to the private sector — to companies that are regulated by the government or provide goods and services to the government. No matter where it is implemented, a data-driven inspection process means that organizations can prioritize inspections based on the risk to the community or history of violations. It means that inspectors have access to full case files in the field via mobile devices to help put real-time issues into context. It means that inspectors’ daily routes and workflow are plotted using AI and machine learning-based on real-time traffic and activity data, enabling them to optimize their time in the field and recognize efficiency gains by visiting more sites per day.

Interested in learning how to better use data to increase inspection efficiency, and by proxy public safety? Drop me a line, or a comment and visit us at: www.ARInspect.com.

Vivek MehtaCo-Founder & CEO at ARInspect