The City of Adelaide\u2019s data-driven future is all down to a single person: a woman called Claire.\nClaire doesn\u2019t exist in real life, but she is ever present in the minds of the authority\u2019s chief information officer Peter Auhl.\nClaire\u2019s story was created to help unlock what a smart city of the future could \u201clook and feel\u201d like from the citizen\u2019s point of view.\n\u201cThe tool enabled us to circulate a vision which is very consistent and clear and enable provoking discussion. It wasn\u2019t about the technology per se but more about what the outcome could look like, what if would feel like for Claire to have government right out of the way so she is able to make her own decisions about what she wants to do and how she wants to interact with the city,\u201d explains Auhl.\nMade into storyboard that could be shared with the leadership, staff and stakeholders, Claire helped to explain the benefits of technological changes without getting too technical, encouraging an emotional connection to the work and a sense of purpose.\n\u201cIt is simply understanding a day in the life of a customer and their interaction with the City of Adelaide in the future and how Claire could easily obtain information whilst in another part of the world to make an investment decision around starting a business in Adelaide \u2013 right down to what an officer at the CoA could do to ensure we were generating the right information and insights for Claire so she could make a more effective decision,\u201d Auhl explains.\n\u201cIt allowed us to talk to staff across all levels of the organisation and get them emotively connected to something that is incredibly passionate and something that they can feel they are playing an important part of \u2013 which they are \u2013 in helping create a better city for their children and their families into the future,\u201d he added.\nAs part of the work, Auhl even put decision makers to task by getting them to experience the city as a citizen unlike themselves. In what the former South Australia Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure CIO describes as one of his proudest examples of engaging with the wider business, the stakeholders were set tasks like trying to obtain a buskers permit, and even \u2013 with assistance from Vision SA \u2013 fitted with a device to impeded their sight to experience what it was like to be vision impaired and shop at the city\u2019s Central Market.\n\u201cThe learnings for those involved were profound and had a far wider impact across the organisation about the concept of customer centricity than I could have ever hoped,\u201d he said.\nCity of Data\nThe authority sees data as being intrinsic to the future success of the city. To better curate and deliver the information the authority and customers need, the technology team over the last year completed its Data Management Platform.\nThe cloud-based solution takes data from a number of different sources, allowing officials and public servants make more effective investment decisions.\n\u201cThe curation of data is how we envision a future for government to provide these types of facilities empowering customers to make their own decisions and choices around how they interact and utilise the services of the city \u2013 be it services provided by our organisation or enabling them to leverage more effective service delivery themselves,\u201d Auhl explains.\nData has also driven a slew of innovations at the City of Adelaide, which are at different stages of development. One applies machine learning to the traffic congestion in the city, to figure out the consequences for carbon emissions.\nFrom the outset, however, the team was keen to see what else they could draw from the single traffic patterns dataset. Applications have now been found in traffic management, finding transport cost efficiencies, and around noise and airborne particle proximity concerns for building design.\n\u201cOur intent was also asking about how could we obtain a \u2018double dividend\u2019 to make sure we aren\u2019t just focusing on one outcome and we are getting a multiplier effect,\u201d Auhl says.\nThe government authority has also released a 3D model of the city as an open data set. A local company has since used it to build an augmented reality experience of Adelaide.\n\u201cThe power of this outcome was that customers and decision makers alike are able to walk virtually through parts of the city and experience what it would feel like, if for example we wished to remove a large building and turn it into a park.\u201d\nThe potential of the Internet of Things is also being explored with trails around \u2018follow me\u2019 lighting, light harvesting and smart parking.\nThanks to Auhl and his belief in technology to improve citizens\u2019 lives, Adelaide is fast transforming into a city of the future. In November, New York-based international think-tank, the Intelligence Community Forum named Adelaideamong the world\u2019s top 21 \u2018smart communities\u2019. Claire will be pleased.