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Tight local government budgets eased by data hosting, analytics projects

NC municipal officials to discuss analytics opportunities at SAS Local Government Symposium

CARY, NC  (25 sept. 2013)  – When revenue projections for the Town of Cary dipped as a result of the Great Recession, officials in North Carolina's seventh-largest municipality had to make tough decisions on what to postpone and what be cut from its $350 million capital budget. Analytics helped them quickly spot unspent funds in active capital projects – allowing it to free up more than $10 million.

Other analytics programs have improved situational awareness for Cary police, made apartment managers more aware of emerging crime issues in their communities, improved fuel consumption forecasts, and provided better views of parks and recreation program usage. Town employees now spend more time serving citizens, less creating reports. And the improved transparency achieved by giving local residents access to a data portal has given utility customers the power to track and, therefore, directly impact the amount of water they use hour by hour.

Technology Services Director Bill Stice will discuss Cary's analytics successes in more detail Sept. 26, at the SAS Local Government Symposium. Municipal officials and analytics experts from across the state will gather at SAS world headquarters in Cary to learn how, in a time of historic budget challenges, targeted analytics projects that address specific pains can create substantial savings.

John Brocklebank, PhD, is Vice President of SAS Solutions OnDemand and head of the SAS Advanced Analytics Lab. He will describe how his group of more than 400 SAS® Analytics experts help local governments employ analytics cost-effectively. By tackling specific, high-impact problems, municipalities can generate quick results that affect budgets. And using SAS Solutions OnDemand to host the data saves money on hardware and analytics expertise, which appeals to Stice.

"It is more efficient to have the data analyzed by someone who understands it,'' explains Stice. "The information is better and more accurate – and we no longer rely on contradictory bits of data from scattered spreadsheets."

The SAS Advanced Analytics Lab offers government customers extensive support through technical expertise, government-specific advanced analytic solutions, and cloud computing dedicated to hosting state and local government data.

"By specially tailoring the contract process and data agreements, we can derive answers much more quickly from smaller data sets," said Brocklebank. "Local governments benefit from quick wins that build confidence and save money."

At the symposium, Stice will share a panel with Dale Roenigk, Lecturer and Director, North Carolina Benchmarking Project, UNC School of Government; Jason Whitaker, CIO, Village of Pinehurst and President of the North Carolina Local Government Information Systems Association; and Gavin Day, Sr. Director for SAS Information Management. Dr. Brent Myers, Medical Director of Wake County EMS, will explain how analytics is saving lives in Wake County. And SAS experts will discuss analytics-powered performance management and sustainability efforts. SAS CEO Jim Goodnight will give opening remarks.

SAS technologies and solutions for government are used in government agencies in all 50 states to transform their operations to deliver the right services, at the right time, with the appropriate resources. SAS offers a wide array of data management, business intelligence and analytics solutions, and collaborates with governments to create innovative offerings tailored to specific departmental and agency goals.

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