Innovating using open source and the cloud to provide free software and the ability to share expertise and resources at a fraction of the cost of other alternatives. Grass roots innovation for small municipalities brought to you by a CPA working as a financial officer of a small municipality.
Value Proposition – Free Asset Management, Business Intelligence & GIS software
Minimum savings of $35,000 in annual software licence fees including
GIS EULA ~$20k
Asset Management Software ~$10k+
Web mapping software ~$10k
Savings in setup & consulting ~ $30K to $50K
Saving in hiring a Asset Manager/GIS technician/ Database manager ~ $45K to $90K (.5FTE to 1 FTE)
Funding for grass-roots organizations. We donate up to 50% of our revenue back into the community after the second year to sponsor local community groups.
The only viable solution, guaranteed!
This is the only viable solution that frees you from software licenses, encourages municipal ownership of data and saves you hiring additional technical staff. If you are able to find a more frugal & effective alternative we will refund your fees and give you free access to servers for a full year.
Our service will empower you to
Easily meet grant funding requirements
Effortlessly gather capital asset stats for reports & surveys including the new LGDE requirements, Stat Canada surveys etc.
Manage assets proactively with minimal effort.
Visualize and map assets and parcels on GIS
Analyse and report on BI with full ability to customize
Capture data in the field
Share unlimited maps with the public at no additional cost
Manage multimedia, docs & spreadsheets tied to assets
Create interactive BI reports for council & the public
And much more…
We’ve successfully eliminated the financial and technical barrier for small municipalities to implement a sophisticated asset management solution. The software is primarily open source so you can download and use as many copies for free as you desire without any restrictions. Also any number of users can access the enterprise class, cloud hosted database without any licence cost. The reporting uses PowerBI from Microsoft and the desktop download is free while pro edition is reasonably priced. Alternative open source BI solutions are also in development using R, JS and Metabase for communities that would like to implement a full free and open source stack.
After 2 years of working with you, by which time the additional work on setup, mapping and training has been completed, we begin donating a half of our annual AM& BI fees back to the municipality with a proviso that it be utilized as a grant-in-aid for deserving local community groups. That is $3,500 for grass-roots organizations every year.
Asset Management Software
Web mapping software
App Server Admin & updates
Database Server Admin & updates
Free or Minimal
Setup & Training
I would like to encourage online training where possible & have structured the fees accordingly although some municipalities have indicated a preference for in-person training.
Fee for Service
This is structured to minimally to reimburse time & cover overhead. It provides:
BI expertise for financial statements & asset reports for council & for public
Support for BI, GIS, Data Collect App & database etc
Financial& AM App or web reports for council
Public BI Financial reports
Live Asset Management Plans
Cloud hosted, multi-year financial cube
Amortization report & working paper export
New LGDE Report & Stat Can reports
Asset Management, GIS, Web App Support&Data Update Package
Parcel Map BC Integration
Quarterly PMBC downloads & ETL
Financial, tax and utility uploads
Public GIS Maps
Cell phone data collect app
Planning app w draw tool
Tax & Utility data integration
Tourism & Trails Interactive Map
Cemetery Mgmt App
Museum Mgmt App
More frequent monthly or weekly cadaster updates
3D Virtual Reality – in development
Lower Drone based sensing & images & orthophotos – developing
This approach fits in with our philosophy of inclusiveness and saves small municipalities a minimum of $35K in just annual software fees. The service allows small municipalities to share AM, GIS & BI expertise through the cloud at a fraction of the cost of hiring staff in-house. This saves a small municipality in excess of $90K to hire a qualified asset/gis manager.
How do we do this when alternatives cost many tens of thousands of dollars? We use open source extensively, leverage the cloud and offer a tightly integrated solution . The tight integration keeps things simple and the cloud hosting eliminates worries about software updates & administration. Our data frameworks reflect our philosophy to keep things simple and real. Your outside crew will appreciate the simplicity of our field app which won’t get in the way of doing their job. We emphasize decisions base on factual information not on dubious and costly optimizations.
We operate extremely frugally in line with our philosophy in order to keep costs low, allow access to free software for municipalities and contribute to community groups. We do not have marketing budget nor any marketing associates and instead redirect those costs to local community groups as donations. We rely on word-of-mouth based on the value and quality of our work. If you’re a municipality interested in further information or would like demo email me.
I have often observed vendors overwhelm municipal employees with information, data and graphs in order to sell their software. Although software has its place in helping you organize your assets, I would strongly advise against immediately purchasing software. Focus initially on your governance, draft your policy and strategy. Organize your data in the attached excel spreadsheet. Once you outgrow excel, use the free service by JI to import your excel data into a robust asset repository. The standards based, free service provided by JI is more than adequate for most municipalities wishing to implement a sophisticated and complete asset management system (look at the solutions page for details).
The attached spreadsheet will help you get started. It has two tabs organizing the asset registry, the first lists the assets and the second the components tied to those assets. The components tab is where the financial data from PSAB is listed. Along with the policy and planning documents, it will get you going and allow you to check off a number of requirements.
Inclusion: Create a sophisticated platform specifically for small municipalities & first nations allowing them to provide equivalent level of digital service as larger, wealthier municipalities.
Frugality: Save taxpayers tens of thousands per municipality by leveraging open source alternatives & using existing tools innovatively.
Transparency: Use cutting-edge tools and BI frameworks to transparently share data with the public & enhance understanding for council.
Strengthen Municipal Commons: Encouraged public ownership of valuable data & information.
Working as a CFO in Ashcroft for nearly 5 years I have become intimately familiar with challenges unique to small municipalities. Averse to spending tens of thousands on software and then on consulting with an end result that was neither simple or practical, I applied insights and innovative ideas from science and academia that could allow small municipalities to level the playing field compared to their larger counterparts. The end result is a SaaS model with open source at the core that simplifies operations and cuts costs and dependencies and is extremely powerful and infinitely extensible.
JI was created to foster innovation for small municipalities. Small municipalities face greater financial & HR constraints and are unable to afford additional technical staff. They need solutions that are specifically tailored for them to be simple, effective & most importantly, frugal.
JI has developed an innovative platform to hide complexity and handle data warehousing, ETL, semantics and analytics while providing frugal, effective solutions optimized for small municipalities. We enable the use of free and open source software to drastically cut costs and provide a common platform to share expertise and resources.
Solutions vs Software
Our focus has been to develop solutions and as opposed to just software. Solutions that are practical, realistic and flexible enough to incorporate conditions unique to each municipality.
If data is the new oil, feedback data is gold dust (paraphrased).
Prof. Ajay Agrawal, founder of the Creative Destruction Lab and co-founder of the AI/robotics company Kindred
The advent of AI and IoT has increased the volume and importance of data. Most municipalities are not structuring their contracts appropriately to retain ownership of their data. This leaves them dependent and reliant on service providers. JI was formed to address this gap and we explicitly assign ownership of data to the municipality thereby retaining public ownership of this increasingly valuable asset.
I am an enthusiastic supporter of our community of learning and often conduct workshops & seminars and believe in sharing knowledge openly and helping colleagues succeed. My focus is on encouraging adoption of open source to improve collaboration and cut IT costs drastically.
This work is opening up possibilities in application of sensor networks, advanced analytics and AI predicated on a shared platform. I see huge potential in low-cost IoT sensor networks alongside burgeoning AI field. I believe were are at an inflection point with AI much like prior revolutions in semiconductors and internet which changed societies and I am committed to helping municipalities realize the benefits. I’m also looking into lowering costs for mapping and imaging for the public sector.
I have decided to support local community groups by donating 50% of my fees after a couple of year when much of the set-up and mapping work is done. Feels good to be able to make difference not only to small rural municipalities by providing access to tech via open source, cutting costs drastically but …
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The design of the system is complete and I am very pleased with the final product. It is powerful while retaining simplicity in its code base. This is a practical software to be used operationally, day to day. It is not just a collection of fancy reports that have no bearing on the reality of …