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Hexagon’s Chris Klimm shares insights into the technology of analytics

For years, retail and commercial industries have been relying on “Big Data” to help them identify key market trends and needs, and in turn put the right products in front of their consumers. In the public safety sphere, capturing and processing “Big Data” is equally recognized for its ability to unlock fact-based insight into resource deployment and predict future trends. As such, police, fire, and EMS agencies across Canada have been actively turning to data management software to help them access that critical buried information.

One trusted solution is Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure's Intergraph Business Intelligence for Public Safety. Launched nine years ago, the solution has been extracting data locked in computer-aided dispatch (CAD) and records management systems (RMS) and transforming it into easy-to-use reports. The depth and scope of insight that can be extracted from agency data allows supervisors to better manage performance and base decisions on facts, rather than assumptions. It also allows them to prepare for future issues by showing them past history, identifying patterns and enabling models to better prepare them for potential events.

 “If we think about the fact that every unit has a GPS and every five seconds we get information about that unit’s status and location, in the end we are generating a huge amount of data to sift through,” explains Chris Klimm, Principal Consultant. “The system will aggregate that data and then we can look for specific things—like how evenly the units are distributed across the region. Then we can provide that information to the decision-makers, and they can look at ways to redirect those units more evenly, or redistribute them to the areas that need them most.” 

Of course, that’s just one example of how data analysis can help improve efficiencies. Another example Klimm cites is the ability to use real-time information to determine whether officers are speeding excessively and putting the public in danger. Or, using it to understand how officer activity fluctuates by hour-of-day and day-of-week over long periods of time. The benefits are virtually as broad as they are imaginable.  

“Agencies are making great use of these solutions now that we have the technology to bring real-time operational data to them. A lot of the data is for the supervisors so they can monitor how well their public safety responders, and their dispatchers, are doing,” says Klimm. “If the data shows a slow-down in responses or in processing calls at certain times of day, we can help determine why this is happening and help them address the problem.”

As the above example highlights, tapping into data can effectively lead to better performance management decisions and the reduced wastage of resources. Supervisors and/or officers are able to glean insight from real events using reports and dashboards designed for easy consumption—they can even be viewed and shared on smartphones and tablets.

Klimm notes that one of the great things about the business intelligence system is that it makes it very easy to push that data out to whoever needs it—but ultimately, it’s up to the agency to decide who should get the information. “Too much information is not always good either because someone has to sift through it while they are trying to do their job. So it’s about getting very pertinent information to the right people at the right time.”

Hexagon’s system deploys two types of analytics:  real-time operational data and analytical reports that look at long-term trends and analysis.  “With that historical information, you can look at trends and patterns to start improving your efficiencies in the future,” says Klimm, adding that a lot of what they do is sit down with the agencies and determine their specific needs and pain points. “Out of the box, we do deliver what we call eight key subject areas, the generic solutions that most agencies will require, but the real value comes from the fact that we sit down with them and look at their specific pain points and customize the solution that’s best for them.”

To find out more about the benefits of mining and using data, and Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure's Intergraph Business Intelligence for Public Safetyclick here.