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What’s the right solution for your agency? 

Crime analysis isn’t exactly new, but the technology used to get the job done is constantly changing and improving. Simply put, it’s a technique that involves analyzing crime data in order to help police departments become more effective at fighting and solving crime. Access to this drilled-down data allows officers to develop improved strategies and tactics to prevent future incidents. It also helps them find and apprehend offenders more easily, improve public safety and quality of life, and optimize internal operations while planning for future resources.

Of course, given how valuable this technology is, selecting a crime analytics platform is a big decision for all agencies and one that should be made with care. Agencies should have full confidence they are investing in the solution that best fits their unique, ongoing requirements before committing to a new product.

To help streamline this complicated process, Motorola Solutions has developed a comprehensive Q&A that tackles the important questions agencies should ask before settling on a platform. Here are a few key considerations:

Data Integration

Most analytics packages require many weeks to transform an agency’s data so that it conforms to their platform—but the right solution should be up and running and integrated with all of your data, in your format, within a timeframe of just 1-2 days. Ask yourself: Does the solution automatically integrate with a public crime-mapping solution? Does it enable you to customize or make changes to city or county boundaries or annex lines, and work with multiple file extensions? If it doesn’t, it should.

Data management and clean-up 

Most software companies expect agencies to adjust their data to their solution’s specifications. This is a time-intensive, manual operation that changes the way you do things. The right platform should be flexible enough to conform to your agency’s terminology and standard operating procedures. Ask yourself: Will the solution allow us to create our own custom reports, data sets, and visualizations? Is it a cloud-based, hosted system as opposed to an on-premises system? A pure cloud-based solution requires no major IT expenses, no additional hardware (e.g., no server space required) to purchase or ongoing scheduled maintenance. In this regard, think about what best suits your needs and future budget.

Crime data visualization and reporting 

Different types of visualizations enable you to understand what happened, where it happened, when it happened, and how often it happened – all from one screen. Ask yourself: Does the solution provide a customizable, executive-style dashboard that allows us to see multiple reports at once or the same report multiple ways? Does it support unlimited remote access to our data? Agency personnel need to have access to real-time data wherever they are and whenever they need it. The solution should be able to support a wide range of today’s most popular mobile devices and deliver actionable intelligence from the cloud to the patrol car – instantly.

Policing methodologies

Crime analytics solutions need to be flexible enough to adapt to whatever policing methodology you use. In other words, you should not have to change the way you police to conform to limitations in your solution. Ask yourself: Does the solution support the basic tenets of CompStat, DDACTS, and Intelligence-led-Policing (ILP)? Does it provide a fully interactive data map that displays points from which you can click to get detailed crime-related information such as location, crime type, date, officer, case number, plus a narrative about the crime? Your solution must provide more than just a rigid pin map if your goal is to implement policing tools that help better protect your community. Seek a solution that quickly and easily displays all of the necessary information from a single screen. It should contain coded “icons” that designate crime types and include a synopsis of all relevant data for that crime (or crimes) in that location. If you have to switch screens to access all that information, you probably don’t have the right system.

These are just a few of the key considerations agencies should make before investing in a solution. To find out more about how to evaluate a crime analytics system, please click here.

You can also learn about Motorola Solution’s new all-in-one crime analytics solution, CommandCentral Analytics, by clicking here for an informative video and demo.

 

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