Town of Cary is an efficient, effective municipality with help from SAS®
When revenue projections for the Town of Cary dipped a few years ago, officials in North Carolina's seventh-largest municipality had to make some quick decisions on what to cut from its $350 million capital budget.
"We were able to find enough flexibility in the capital projects to avoid issuing more debt," says Town Manager Ben Shivar. The town eliminated $3.5 million of unissued debt, and $6.9 million of unissued debt was replaced with cash. "The Budget Office now routinely utilizes SAS reporting to rank the sources of unspent funds within active capital projects. This information helps staff ensure that the town's dollars are being applied as effectively as possible."
With SAS reporting and analytics, town employees spend more time managing departmental budgets and less time creating reports.
In addition to dollar savings and efficiency gains, town staff can give local residents answers to their questions more quickly and accurately. And now that they can access the data themselves via portal, town employees rely less on IT.
Data-driven decisions improve public safety
With data readily available and easier to analyze, Cary police officers are more aware of situations before they arrive on the scene. SAS gives them quick access to information about the address so that they can better anticipate what to expect upon arrival, and it helps them anticipate what other resources they might need on the call. SAS gives police officers a deeper understanding of crime patterns. And now it’s easier to share critical information with the public, property managers and business owners.
For example, the police department can now create a daily report that summarizes crime and incident data for each of the 41 participating multi-family communities. This helps property managers find out what’s happening on their grounds. And it alerts them to possible lease violations that could lead to eviction.
"In the past, researching reports and calls for service was very time consuming,” says police lieutenant Ken Quinlan. “Now it takes less than a minute. And we’ve seen a fairly significant reduction in crime and calls for service within those apartment communities.’’
Perhaps the biggest benefit is that police officers aren’t dependent on the department’s two analysts. Using a portal, they are now able run their own statistical reports. “We’re a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week operation, but we’re not here all the time,’’ says Elise Pierce, one of the department’s analysts. And since analysts are freed from routine data requests, they can spend more time looking for relationships between crimes, identifying crime intensity areas that need more intense policing, calculating the department’s clearance rate (crimes solved), and running officer efficiency reports for supervisors. “In the end it goes back to keeping officers safe and preventing people from being victims,’’ Pierce says.
Helping managers analyze their budgets – and save money
With SAS, department heads can better manage projects that receive funding from multiple sources.
Department heads used to have a hard time keeping tabs on different subsections of their budget. "If I needed to know how much money was left in my contracted services budget, I had to wade through hundreds of records in the general ledger,'' Stice says.
“We’re able to get more data in front of decision makers,’’ explains Janelle Bailey, one of the Town’s business analysts. “It helps them make decisions faster.’’
The results illustrated in this article are specific to the particular situations, business models, data input, and computing environments described herein. Each SAS customer’s experience is unique based on business and technical variables and all statements must be considered non-typical. Actual savings, results, and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. SAS does not guarantee or represent that every customer will achieve similar results. The only warranties for SAS products and services are those that are set forth in the express warranty statements in the written agreement for such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. Customers have shared their successes with SAS as part of an agreed-upon contractual exchange or project success summarization following a successful implementation of SAS software. Brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies.
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Town of Cary
The Town of Cary needed a faster, easier way to use data for everyday decision making.
With self-service reporting, the police are helping to reduce crime, department heads have a better understanding of their budgets, and the permitting department is tracking efforts to meet customer service goals and better meet the needs of citizens while ensuring effective use of taxpayer dollars.
“We have better information and more accurate information.”
Technology Services Director