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City of Boston Wins Amazon's "City On a Cloud" Innovation Challenge

July 15, 2016

Prize recognizes Boston's innovative approach to transportation-related analytics; awards $50,000 in Amazon Web Services to the City of Boston.

BOSTON - Wednesday, July 13, 2016 - Recognizing the City of Boston's innovative approach to utilizing transportation data, Boston has won Amazon Web Services' 2016 "City on a Cloud Challenge." The Amazon Web Services (AWS) awards highlight how government agencies and their partners are embracing innovation. Boston was a winner in the "Dream Big" category, and will receive $50,000 in AWS credits to upgrade the City's data processing and analysis capabilities for future projects.

"This win is a confirmation that the City of Boston is a national leader in innovation and data," said Jascha Franklin-Hodge, the City's Chief Information Officer. "This award will allow Boston to continue its work on compiling transportation data at no cost to the City, taking advantage of the generous award stipend the City has received from Amazon Web Services."

"The Boston Transportation Department is working hard to improve the reliability, accessibility and safety of our transportation network," said Gina N. Fiandaca, Commissioner of the Boston Transportation Department.  "Data analytics and digital tools help us achieve these goals, and we look forward to expanding that work with this award."

The City of Boston will leverage AWS's cloud computing platform to develop a comprehensive data warehouse and analytics stack, which will be used to drive transportation improvements aimed at reducing delays, increasing safety and enabling greater mobility for all Boston residents and visitors. By bringing together data from a variety of sources, this system will empower the City to derive more insights and dive deeper into transportation solutions. With these insights, the City will be able to deploy resources more effectively and have a more positive impact on the lives of Boston's citizens. 

The award proposal and project was directed through Boston's Department of Innovation and Technology's (DoIT) Citywide Analytics Team, in partnership with Boston's Transportation Department. Chief Data Officer Andrew Therriault, who was appointed in May, will be leading the City's AWS transportation project. 

"Since its beginning, the Citywide Analytics Team has worked closely with the Transportation Department in using data to improve the City's day-to-day transportation operations and inform long-term planning," said Therriault. "This award will enable us to expand this work and help the City make better-informed decisions to increase mobility throughout Boston."

This award will allow the Analytics Team to continue its advancement of transportation-focused data projects. Recent initiatives included the the launch of the City's new data dashboard that tracks the demographics of the City's workforce and the team's first annual Year-In-Review, which includes case studies of several projects completed in 2015. 


The Citywide Analytics Team uses data to improve quality of life and enhance government operations in the City of Boston. By combining modern data analysis and visualization with a deeply engaged approach to performance improvement and change management, the team works with departments across the City to solve challenging problems, build a more effective government, and deliver better outcomes for the people who live and work in Boston.