Business challenge

Seeking smarter ways to deliver public services through technology, Jakarta Smart City (JSC) wanted to identify areas for improvement by automatically collecting and analyzing feedback from citizens.


As part of a broader big data initiative, JSC has built a central platform that gathers feedback from mobile and social media channels, and maps it against other data to identify problem hotspots.



government agencies with the data they need to make optimal policy decisions


citizens by enabling faster responses to feedback and increasing transparency


the value of a central big data platform as a hub for smarter government services

Business challenge story

Building citizen-focused public services

As the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes an increasingly fundamental technology for effective government, cities are embedding sensors in everything from buses and garbage trucks to water systems and public buildings. By analyzing data from those sensors, modern cities will be able to design smarter public services, make wiser policy decisions, and manage day-to-day operations much more efficiently.

Yet even without any investment in sensor networks, today’s cities already contain millions of the most intelligent and versatile “sensors” that have ever existed: human beings. A public-spirited citizen with a smartphone is an incredibly valuable source of data for government agencies, because they will provide accurate feedback on the status of the city’s systems in real time.


The only problem is collecting and analyzing the data fast enough. In Jakarta, a district of 10 million people is divided into five cities, 44 sub-districts, and 267 villages. The city government receives an average of 1,400 messages per day via its custom-built Qlue mobile app, which allows users to submit feedback about public services. On top of this, citizens send an average of 130 SMS messages per day to the governor’s mobile phone, and many more via other channels such as email and Twitter.

Diory Paulus, Head of Data & Analytics at Jakarta Smart City (JSC), a management unit under the Communication, Informatics and Statistics division of the Jakarta Provincial Government, explains: “It’s important to listen and be transparent when citizens send feedback about public services—but in a city as large as Jakarta, the sheer number of messages makes it impossible to respond fast enough if you are handling every message manually. We wanted to find a way to process feedback more quickly and analyze and prioritize the most important issues.

“At the same time, we knew that this was just one of many projects that will involve big data analytics. So, we decided to build a general-purpose big data platform that we could use to capture, store and analyze huge volumes of data for any use-case.”

IBM was one of the few vendors that could answer all our questions and had a truly comprehensive vision.

Diory Paulus, Head of Data & Analytics, Jakarta Smart City

Transformation story

Good government, built on good data governance

JSC knew that it needed a platform that could handle every aspect of big data collection, management and analytics. It needs to be able to ingest a huge variety of different types of data—everything from unstructured text on social media to JSON data from the web and relational data from traditional database systems. It also needs to deal with cultural change, as some government departments are only just beginning to move from paper-based processes to digital workflows.

“Data governance is very important,” says Diory Paulus. “The danger with any analytics project is that if you put garbage in, you will get garbage out. And this is especially difficult to guard against when the datasets are so large.”

He continues: “We looked at the Gartner Magic Quadrant and asked several leading companies to show us their products. IBM was one of the few vendors that could answer all our questions and had a truly comprehensive vision, embracing big data collection, data warehousing, advanced analytics and governance.”

IBM® Global Business Services® helped the JSC team design a solution that would provide a big data hub for integrating information from the citizen feedback app and social networks, as well as government services such as transportation, healthcare, water distribution and other departments.

The solution uses IBM InfoSphere® DataStage® to extract, transform and load data from all these sources into a central data lake, built on IBM BigInsights®, and a powerful data warehouse, which runs on IBM PureData® System for Analytics. IBM InfoSphere Information Governance Catalog provides a robust data governance framework, making it easier to align the technical systems with the business requirements and processes. As analysis tools, the solution provides IBM Cognos® Analytics for reporting and dashboarding, IBM SPSS® Modeler for advanced analytics and predictive modeling, and IBM Text Analytics for categorization and sentiment analysis of unstructured text.

“We are taking our first steps with many of these technologies, and the guidance and training we have received from IBM has been very valuable,” says Diory Paulus. “We are very keen to learn and share our knowledge with other government organizations, both within Indonesia and internationally.”

Analytics helps us show our citizens that their feedback really makes a difference. By showing the people of Jakarta that we are listening, we can keep them engaged in helping us build a city that is better for everyone.

Diory Paulus, Head of Data & Analytics, Jakarta Smart City

Results story

Listening to citizens

JSC has already started using the big data platform to streamline the way it handles citizens’ feedback and provide new insight into the most important topics.

Diory Paulus says: “There is a real opportunity to use data to make smarter policy decisions. For example, we can analyze all the feedback we receive, and identify patterns. Recently we looked at the top ten villages, ranked by the number of complaints. We saw that one of our villages had the highest number of complaints for two consecutive months, and when we looked into it, we found that most of the problems were related to garbage collection.

“We plotted all the incidents on a heatmap and overlaid the route of the garbage trucks, which showed us that the most complaints came from some areas where the garbage trucks don’t drive through. We were then able to work with the village council and the Jakarta waste management department to improve the routing and scheduling of the garbage collections—and sure enough, the number of complaints is now decreasing again.

“This is just one example of the power of big data, once you can collect and analyze it effectively. Traffic management is another key area—we can integrate traffic complaints data with data from Waze and the GPS systems in our buses, and get new insight into where the bottlenecks are.”

JSC is also investigating ways to use analytics to combat fraud by looking into utilization of the smart cards that citizens use for subsidized school fees and other services. The city is in the process of launching a new “Jakarta One” card, which will integrate a much wider range of payment services. JSC expects that rapid fraud detection capabilities will be increasingly important to ensure that fraudsters cannot take advantage of the system.

Diory Paulus concludes: “With the IBM platform, we are now able to say ‘yes’ whenever a government department asks us for help with data and analytics. We know we can collect and store however much data we need, and we have the analytical power to process it and deliver results quickly.

“We are excited about the next steps on this journey—for example, using Text Analytics to make it easier to categorize and prioritize the messages we receive by email and SMS, or on Twitter. This should save many hours of manual processing, and help us ensure that we always deal with the most important issues as quickly as possible.

“Most important of all, analytics helps us show our citizens that their feedback really makes a difference. By showing the people of Jakarta that we are listening, we can keep them engaged in helping us build a city that is better for everyone.”

Jakarta Smart City

Established in 2015 as a management unit under the Communication, Informatics and Statistics division of the Jakarta Provincial Government, Jakarta Smart City has a mission to realize a New Jakarta that is more data-driven and transparent, as well as supporting collaborations through the use of technology for better public services. Its six key focus areas are smart living, smart mobility, smart governance, smart environment, smart economy, and smart people.

Solution components

  • Cognos Analytics
  • Data Integration & Replication
  • GBS BCS - BA&S - BD&A - Big Data & Information Management Foundation
  • GBS BCS - BA&S - Big Data & Analytics
  • Govt: Government, State/Provincial/Local Transformation
  • Govt: Mobility
  • Govt: Social Services and Social Security
  • IBM Global Business Services
  • InfoSphere BigInsights Enterprise Edition
  • PureData System for Analytics (powered by Netezza technology)
  • SPSS Modeler
  • Watson Studio & Modeler

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