The City of Edmonton posted a pretty interesting position last month.

The description is so good that it bears repeating in this space.

Bolding is my emphasis.

Traffic Safety Predictive Analyst

Put your superior analytical skills to work in North America’s first and only municipal Office of Traffic Safety. You will be joining the rapidly growing field of urban traffic safety where the application of statistics and predictive analysis is becoming a vital decision support tool in reducing motor vehicle collisions.
 Your responsibilities will be:
  • Provide short, medium, and long-term predictions of collisions and/or speeding by considering current and historical traffic safety related data as well as other influential factors, including weather and demographic data
  • Identify, generate and monitor KPIs; review the related performance issues and recommend evidence-based resolutions
  • Review the traffic safety strategic goals and provide evidence-based recommendations for the goals 
  • Provide leadership, supervision, training and direction to two technicians to ensure that collision data processing is done in a timely manner and meets the preset quality target
  • Analyze traffic safety related data such as collision, traffic flow, and vehicle speed distribution to identify collision and speeding trends
  • Provide advanced statistical support for road user behaviour analysis and research, as well as for other traffic safety initiatives like speed management and engineering improvement programs
  • Make recommendations relating to the City of Edmonton traffic safety performance and predictions based on a comprehensive statistical analysis of various traffic safety-related data
  • Work collaboratively with other analysts to conduct cross-initiative analysis for various Office of Traffic Safety initiatives such as engineering design improvement, education, roadway maintenance, road user behaviours, fleet safety, and Operation 24 hours
  • Coordinate responses to collision data inquires
  • Represent the Office of Traffic Safety by presenting research findings in professional, public and educational settings
  • Work collaboratively with our stakeholders and research associates supporting the four elements of traffic safety: Evaluation, Education, Engineering, and Enforcement
  • Routinely examine and refine the skill sets to find ways of improving the work quality

What’s so special?

This is applied analytics for the purposes of producing much better societal outcomes. It’s a practice that’s pretty rare. And, I rarely see the terms ‘evidence based’ used so often.

At the time of writing, there have been 11 fatalities so far this year in Edmonton

I’m extremely excited to see a municipality take this on. And, because we know that analytics have a concrete effect on goals, priorities, and decision making, this position could contribute to saving the lives of at least dozens.


Whoever was hired for this position will have to make use of Geographic Information Systems and mash them up with several traditional analytics approaches, including modelling and scorecarding. While unlikely in Edmonton, they may encounter ethical issues around discrimination. We’ll take a look at the methods, tools, and considerations this new hire may encounter.

This is part one in a five part series on Analytics and GIS. Tomorrow, we’ll look at scoring algorithms.


I’m Christopher Berry.
I tweet about analytics @cjpberry
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