Publications

Filter By

Flipping the Switch: Shutting Off Low Use Wireless Devices

BY Paul Fagin

Every year the City issues hundreds of wireless devices—both cellular phones and hotspots—to employees in positions that require travel or have job responsibilities that necessitate being on call for extended periods of time. Departments have the responsibility to monitor device usage and invoicing. Until recently, however, there was no citywide guidance on what level of usage was acceptable. This condition prompted the City to analyze data for wireless devices. The biggest take-away was 30% of the City’s wireless phones, or 2,471 phones, made less than 3 calls (a month).

Filed Under
Executive Insight, wireless, savings, HITS, Finance, cell phones, hot spots

Departments
Citywide

4th largest U.S. city seeking Enterprise Data Officer

BY Jesse Bounds

Are you interested in cities and the power of data to deliver insights, and a more effective and sustainable government?

The City of Houston is building its Enterprise Data Analytics program and is looking for a few good data wranglers who want to transform the way government does business. More than that, we need a leader.

Filed Under
data, data analytics, data warehousing, open data

Departments
Citywide

Discount Transit Fare Savings

BY Mimi Xi

Over 1,300 City of Houston employees receive monthly stipends for their commute to work on Metro buses. In our continuous search for savings, we wanted to know how many of these employees were eligible for senior discount fares offered by Metro, but were not currently receiving the discount. Metro offers 50% off fare for seniors over 65, and free rides to anyone over 70. Although local fares are only $1.25 each way, riders are charged more the further they travel, and commutes to Zone 4 are $4.50 a ride.

Filed Under
savings, transit fares

Departments
Citywide, Administration and Regulatory Affairs, Finance Department

ARA - Parking Management Onboard Training

BY Frank Bracco

Project Summary: Created Parking Management on-boarding training, resulting in reduced customer complaints and an average of $390 per day/employee of savings by reducing the “found not liable citations” written by parking management officers.

Lean Six Sigma (LSS) is a customer centric way of thinking and problem solving that seeks to continually identify and eliminate waste.

Filed Under
parking, ARA, onboarding, LSS, Lean Six Sigma

Departments
Administration and Regulatory Affairs

Mapping the City of Houston's Electricity Usage Over Time

BY Frank Bracco

Last month, the Mayor's Office of Sustainability released, "...energy use data for all municipal facilities that are larger than 25,000 square feet," to highlight a nationwide energy usage benchmarking exercise the City is participating in through the Houston City Energy Project. You can read more about the project and find links to the data here.

Filed Under
vizs, Electricity, Energy, open data, civic innovation

Departments
Citywide, Finance Department, General Services, Houston Airport System, Public Works & Engineering

Introducing One Houston

BY Mimi Xi

The City of Houston has launched an employee savings initiative called One Houston. One Houston is a call to action for employees to make small changes within their workday that make a large impact on the budget.

An individual employee may not think he or she can influence a 2.3 billion dollar general fund budget, but changes in behavior do make a difference when aggregated across 20,000 employees. For example, as the infographic below shows, the city prints 55 million pages a year. Reducing color printing by just 1% city-wide equates to 50,000 dollars a year in savings.

Filed Under
OneHouston, savings

Departments
Citywide

How Improvements to Fire Alarm Permit Mailings in 2012 are Still Generating Revenue Today

BY Frank Bracco

When I started with the City of Houston, I was assigned to the Accounts Receivable and Collection Project (ARC). The ARC project’s main goal was to determine how much money was owed to the City and to develop strategies to capture that revenue.

Filed Under
fire alarms, HFD, revenue, actuals, vizs

Departments
Houston Fire Department

How Will Open Data Affect Houston?

BY Niki Virani

The City of Houston has an Open Data Administrative Procedure (policy) and we’ve started cataloging and identifying data sets that will be available on the Open Data Portal but what does the Open Data policy mean for employees, residents, and entrepreneurs? This blog post will look at just that, however, let’s define some terms to level-set.

What is data?

It is information that has been gathered by the City during its normal course of business.

What kind of data does the open data policy address?

Filed Under
open data, civic innovation, policy, data

Departments
Citywide

Pages