The City of Barcelona in Spain has built an analytics system to better track citizen feedback and improve the performance of government services.

Huge amounts of data are generated through channels like social media, but it was largely unused, the city found. Each agency used a different system and data had to be manually compiled. Similarly, citizens had no easy access to government data in a single place.

Barcelona used cloud technology to build an analytics solutions that can handle unlimited amounts of data and connect to any number of users.

“We are preparing for a new era where we can use Big Data to improve the quality of life for people through better services and economic growth,” the Director of Information at the Municipal Institute of Information said.

The city tested the solution on Spain’s largest festival, La Mercé, to give staff insight into what services need to be improved and how it can draw more visitors.

It used posts and pictures published on Twitter, credit card transactions, website visits, GPS, traffic, weather and parking data. It plans to add more data to the system, including other social media, information on ATM withdrawals and data from mobile network providers.

It has also built a dashboard for government officials and citizen to track public services through 120 indicators.

Barcelona wants this project to become an analytics model for other smart cities across the globe.

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Image by Moyan BrennCC BY 2.0