Visualisation of Data to Help Become a Smart City

Carlo Barnard is Business Intelligence Specialist at Munsoft and a past municipal CFO at Victor Khanye Local Municipality. We discuss the value in spatial representation of information for a municipality, major challenges that can be visualised and solved, why collaboration between departments is important in the context of using technology, and much more.

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Discussion highlights

This episode is presented in partnership with 1map (Visit them)

The value in the spatial representation of information for a municipality

  • Brings out information that is easily understandable and enables quick decision-making.
  • Seeing something on a picture makes more sense.
  • Real-time representation of information.
  • Carlo explains the use case in a variety of roles within the municipality.
  • Carlo explains real-world applications and the value derived.

Most important challenges that can be visualised by making use of these technologies and how they can solve current problems

  • Land issue and what land is available: One database of available land.
  • Carlo explains its relevance to the Spatial Development Framework.
  • Zoning and land use of properties.
  • Outstanding debt: Being able to visualise where your outstanding debt is you can then form a pattern and determine how to address it.
  • Valuation rolls: If not kept up to date the municipality might be losing a lot of income.
  • Indigent management: Visualising where they are you can answer if your register is complete or not.
  • Water and electricity loss: Able to analyse consumptions patterns in a specific area and identify the losses and resolve the problem. See where illegal connections or water tampering are.
  • Planning: Infrastructure departments can see where problems are and look to resolve them and track the progress.
  • Carlo shares real-world examples where major municipal challenges were solved by visualising information and by using this technology.

3 major benefits of digital mapping for CFOs  and revenue managers

  • Enables you to answer: Is my revenue complete?
  • Management of debt. Immediately identify when there is a problem with debt.
  • Accurate and complete Indigent Managemen

What is standing in the way of adoption of these technologies?

  • Relatively new way of looking at things.
  • Change management process required.
  • Majority of people don’t like change until they are shown the real value and how it can make their work vastly better than by doing it the old way.
  • Carlo explains how smaller municipalities will catch up on the adoption.

Why adding a map to a municipal official’s toolbox adds value

  • Information submitted will give a greater sense of comfort and accuracy and a true reflection of what is happening.
  • Enables more ways of working with data in an easy manner.

Level of skill required to make use of these tools

  • Easy to use the tools, Carlo explains.

Collaboration required between various departments in a municipality and why it is important in the context of using technology

  • Carlo explains how various departments are involved in the same projects and how working with a collaborative technology on one platform it can greatly improve tracking, reporting, project delivery and more.

About Carlo Barnard

As a member of the South African Institute for Business Accountants and an accredited mSCOA trainer for the National Treasury. My experience spans across multiple industries at various levels from trainee accountant leading to Chief Financial Officer which equipped me with the skills and experience to be an advisor to various stakeholders.

Financial Reporting, Analysis, and Business Intelligence have been my focus area. My analytical ability and systematic approach enable me to identify opportunities, risks, and the development of tangible solutions by using a spectrum of Business Intelligence Tools and Spatial Management Information Systems (GIS). My expertise is extensive and includes general business management, business intelligence, treasury management, compliance, planning, performance management, financial analysis, and reporting.

I have led and implemented multiple projects and can communicate and motivate teams as well as engage with stakeholders at different levels.

Source: LinkedIn

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