An opportunity with municipal data for app developers, Yahoo hiring for a New York data center, and why mobile banking is growing.
Cities like Washington, D.C.,
are making large amounts of data available – for free. For developers, this is an opportunity to create apps for 311 calls, bike maps, crime data, and even available parking spaces. For example, you could combine real estate data with trending crime data. A home-buyer could call up numbers to determine the safety of an area before making an offer. When I say APP you may think hand-held. But much of this work is delivered to desktops using open-source software. The mayor of Baltimore has proposed a similar initiative. Residents there have suggested providing street camera streams, along with traffic apps, pothole apps – even tracking the price of crabs in area. Well, whatever’s
Yahoo will hire more than 125 people at its new green data center in Lockport, N.Y. The facility will also house one of Yahoo’s two global operations centers. They monitor the company’s Web services. Until recently that was done in Bangalore. Yahoo sees its facility as a model to spread functions into more areas like this. And it’s unlikely this type of service will be outsourced because data centers need to be within 1,500 miles of users. That’s another reason to look at data centers as a relatively stable sector.
Mobile banking is one of the biggest advances in financial services – and it’s going to grow. That means more jobs in IT and business analysis as financial firms race to out-app each other. So how big is the sector? In 2009, almost half of the top 50 U.S. financial institutions offered mobile banking. JPMorgan Chase, for example allows customers to make mobile deposits. You’ll probably have more opportunities at third-party software developers, though larger banks could use a combination of consultants in-house employees.