Public Safety: Page 8 of 11

Wed, 2015-10-28 22:57 -- Jon DeKeles
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Analytics

There’s a big story to tell about the impact analytics can have in the public safety sector, as the targets below explain.

Achieve full situational awareness. In smart public safety, full situational awareness (also referred to as a “complete operating picture”) is created and maintained through the use of city command centers. Command centers are so important because they assimilate a single version of “the truth” so everyone involved in a situation is working off the same information. When time is a factor and lives are at risk, you want to be sure that the left hand knows what the right hand is doing. You want thousands of employees, and a handful of different agencies and city departments, to have the exact same information.

Command centers deploy analytics capabilities across the universe of relevant public safety data – the discipline often referred to as Big Data. They correlate, in an automated way, these hundreds or thousands of data sources, criminal profiles or social media streams, for instance, to create intelligence. And they use this intelligence to render a complete operating picture for public safety personnel – actionable intelligence that helps keep people safe (themselves included). This correlation of data is an ongoing and automated process, so new data is always informing the constantly evolving public safety picture across the city.

Command centers also provide unified threat assessment functionality and are responsible for the coordination and control of incident response and management. With this real-time understanding, emergency managers can assess safety needs and prioritize actions and resources. Because it is a central command, there is authority to deploy resources across agencies, departments and service boundaries to achieve desired outcomes without jurisdictional issues. This is critical because often in emergency situations, other city departments must be part of the response – for example, transportation or public health.

Achieve operational optimization. This target offers savings potential for cities’ public safety agencies. Along with full situational awareness, analytics can unearth new insights into how cities deploy their public safety resources, thereby generating savings.

Operational optimization also holds great promise for city court systems. Courts have access to an enormous quantity of data, often so much so that the data can be difficult to make use of. Public defenders often have much smaller staffs than the lawyers they are up against, and these larger staffs can devote much more time and energy to research that wins cases. ICT levels the playing field. With analytics and operational optimization, city courts can transform the way they access information, improving outcomes for not just the courts, but the cities and the people that they represent and protect.

Pursue predictive analytics. The insights analytics provide can lead to better public safety planning and decision-making by projecting trends and predicting outcomes to the point that they can even prevent some crimes from occurring. Full situational awareness allows cities to allocate their resources more efficiently for incident response and management. And they can simulate, for example, a potential natural disaster and take steps to mitigate some of the likely devastation before the disaster occurs.

All of the applications of analytics discussed in this section deliver tangible operational savings. Better planning, decision-making, predicting and resource allocation all lead to money saved for public safety agency operations budgets.