Part of the “Amsterdam-Amstelland” Safety Region, Amsterdam is one of 25 areas Holland’s government established in 2010 to help improve emergency services outcomes. Through its Safehub division, Incentro helps the region’s emergency services target resources more intelligently.
Incentro is an IT company founded on the happiness of employees and 100% owned by them. Eight of Incentro’s 300 specialists (Incentronauts) deliver a wide range of data-driven services that improve health and safety outcomes in the public and private sectors.
As Bart-Jan Knegt, managing consultant for Business Intelligence (BI), Incentro, explains, “Incentro’s Safehub division serves as an essential strategic partner for different safety regions on smart city projects, including Amsterdam’s. At the heart of this service is safehub.nl, an online hub that provides vital information to Amsterdam’s emergency service workers.”
Hitachi Vantara’s Pentaho Data Integration (PDI) software serves as Safehub’s “engine room,” intelligently managing, governing and blending a diverse range of open data sources. Property registers, for example, provide extensive data about building ages, types, materials, fire escape locations — even building managers’ telephone numbers. Census data adds vital information about neighborhood residents, including ages, nationalities and special mobility needs. Historical data provides further information about past emergency and crime incidents. PDI extracts, transforms and loads these diverse data sources into a MongoDB and Postgres data warehouse and allows data sets to be blended on the fly, before being presented in dashboards. This gives fire services 360-degree visibility of neighborhood risk factors to aid in prevention and provides more effective emergency responses.
Incentro chose PDI for Safehub due to its open standards architecture that fits well into a data-diverse, multicloud environment. It is easy to integrate with Safehub’s wide spectrum of data sources, from .CSV files to documents, PDFs and image files, the Geoserver GIS suite and some of Incentro’s homegrown web technology.
“As a consultant, I have worked with many data management tools,” explains Knegt. “Pentaho Data Integration uniquely lets you visually design your entire data flow, manage all your data connections and manage your log-ins, all in one window. It lets you see exactly what’s happening and where the bottlenecks are, which is really powerful.
With any smart city initiative using public data sources, data privacy is a major concern. To address this, Incentro ensures that all demographic data that contributes to risk profiles is anonymized in Safehub. With individuals’ consent, PDI lets Incentro encrypt certain personal data required to handle emergencies, such as names and mobile numbers of building managers. In these ways, PDI’s data management capabilities helped Incentro become ready for the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and also compliant with several important International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and other health, safety and environmental standards.