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BI 260517
How agencies, like HRPS, are benefitting from Business Intelligence

Using “Big Data” is a growing trend among police agencies worldwide, but mining and transforming that data into business intelligence is nearly impossible without the right tools and processes.

One agency that successfully acquired those tools is the Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS). Despite being one of Canada’s fastest-growing regions in Ontario, Halton has been named Canada’s “Safest Regional Municipality to Live In” for six consecutive years, thanks in part to HRPS’s continual efforts to improve operational efficiencies by leveraging technology and identifying areas of improvement, wherever possible.

“Agencies [like HRPS] can make great use of their robust operational data now that the technology is out there,” said Chris Klimm, Principal Consultant. “From monitoring how well their public safety responders and their dispatchers are doing, to seeing when there are slow-downs in response times or call processing, having that real-time data is not only beneficial, but expected in today’s fast-paced, digital world.”

That’s why the Halton Regional Police Service turned to Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure's Intergraph Business Intelligence for Public Safety—a business intelligence solution that connects, mines, and transform siloed data into a single database for faster and more accurate reporting and decision making. 

Like many large agencies, the HRPS supports diverse law enforcement efforts—from urban centres to farm lands—overseeing the safety of more than 500,000 citizens across 1,000 square kilometers. Before Intergraph, critical public safety and law enforcement data was siloed throughout the organization. Consolidating all of its data assets into one data warehouse would consume too much time, money and manpower. Also, the data collected by the agency was vast, making it too difficult to mine, analyze and report in any accurate or timely manner.

Now, connected by Intergraph’s Business Intelligence for Public Safety, HRPS databases are integrated, regardless of location or data structure. Intergraph’s solution pulls data from the agency’s computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system, records management system (RMS) and other sources. Then, the data sets are transferred into one SQL Server database, giving the agency the ability to quickly query and run custom reports, prototype new reports and write custom scripts.

“Intergraph’s Business Intelligence is critical to how we collect, analyze and turn our data into actionable intelligence,” said Joseph Glover, police analytics coordinator, Halton Regional Police Service. “The system is a critical ingredient to implementing our police analytics vision.”

Simplifying the system

Launched in 2008, is Intergraph Business Intelligence for Public Safety is now in its second generation, and Klimm points out that a lot of the upgrades revolved around usability.  “We really looked at improving performance and solving real world problems. As a vendor, it’s easy to dazzle people with flashy dashboards, but we really tried to focus on making sure we were removing difficulties, rather than just changing its appearance.”

In other words, the new generation is much simpler, with less terminology for those creating the analytics.  “It’s got easier-to-use interfaces and fewer moving pieces,” Klimm says. “With the first generation, there were multiple servers, fairly complex ETL processing, and a whole series of tools the end-user needed to use. It was a fairly large complex system and that was overwhelming for at least the smaller agencies we were delivering to.”

But not anymore, says Klimm, noting that that’s the beauty of technology.  As systems improve, becoming easier for the end user, the costs to implement the technology come down too. “With budgets getting smaller and smaller, agencies are forced to live within the means they are given. As a result, hiring new officers may not be an option. Our technology can help agencies optimize the use of their existing resources. One way to optimize would be by cultivating officer information and providing the analysis to redistribute officers to where they are needed most. The changes made would keep communities safer while reducing the need for additional officers.”

To find out more about the many benefits of Business Intelligence, and specifically Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure's Intergraph Business Intelligence for Public Safety, click here.