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Trends and Outliers

TIBCO Spotfire's Business Intelligence Blog

02/26
2014

Big Data for the Greater Good: Public Safety and Predictive Analytics

Just as big data helps business leaders improve decision making, big data can help in the public safety arena by enabling police officers to solve cases and prevent crimes. But the more data that is accessible, the more difficult it is to arrange and analyze.

shutterstock 24544438 192x300 Big Data for the Greater Good: Public Safety and Predictive AnalyticsEvery day, police departments across the country are faced with processing massive amounts of data from social media networks, GPS technologies, CCTV footage, as well as background information.

But to manipulate that much data, they need the technology to do it. As police departments struggle to consolidate and integrate this data, they look to make the most of technology that’s easily accessible.

“By combining new digital technologies with analytics capabilities, police forces can, for the first time, generate important intelligence insights without the help of large teams of intelligence analysts,” according to an article in InformationWeek.

Instead of spending millions on data processing systems, police can use predictive analytics and other analytic tools to analyze larger sets of data more accurately to inform operational decisions –and even day-to-day policing.

And it’s working, according to Information Week:

  • The Los Angeles Police Department saw property crime rates fall 12% within six months of implementing an analytics software trial

  • Using predictive analytics, Memphis, Tennessee police saw serious crime decrease 30% between 2006 and 2010

  • With automated analytics, the United Kingdom’s Metropolitan Police reduced criminal activities in seven neighborhood crime areas

  • Singapore authorities are implementing a pilot program to alert the government agency when a public safety incident is caught on CCTV

Efficient predictive analytics can give small police departments real-time data about their communities, leaving them better able to allocate officers and employees to meet service demands.

However, while taking advantage of these new technologies, public officials must keep an individual’s right to privacy top of mind, walking the fine line between accessing too much information and accessing just enough.

Once more entrenched in public safety organizations, predictive analytics will better equip officers to improve community safety – just one more way big data is working for a better world.

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