Solving 4 Big Challenges Facing Crime and Incident Analysts - #3 Time-Consuming Data Preparation

Analysts and dispatchers at Halton Regional Police Service.

We’ve all heard the old adage, “Time is money”. For law enforcement agencies this is true. But what’s also true is that the longer investigations remain open or unsolved, criminals can go free and commit more crimes. If searching and analyzing vast amounts of incident and crime data is important to solving cases and reducing crime, then doing it in a timely manner is just as critical.  And that takes the right analytics tools.

In this blog series, I’ve pinpointed four big challenges that many incident and crime analysists face. In my last post, I discussed how Intergraph InSight Explorer’s single-tool approach and Elasticsearch capabilities help analysts overcome multiple, disconnected data systems. In my third post, I will focus on how Intergraph InSight Explorer helps analysts overcome time-consuming data preparation. Let’s dive in.

Challenge: Time-Consuming Data Preparation
There are three factors that slow down data preparation and analysis. First, crime data often resides in disconnect systems, which creates time-consuming, manual processes of finding, retrieving, and preparing it for analysis. Second, many crime analysis tools only extract data using queries from structured fields. Analysts can’t find data without knowing where to look first. So, they must manually enter all possible fields where the data of interest might be located. Third, many crime analytics tools don’t provide analysts with the ability to manually filter out bad data, leaving them to sort through and discern the value of inconsistent data across their systems, which takes time.

These factors contribute to agencies spending too much time, and too much money, on discovering, extracting, and preparing source data for analysis. In some cases, analysts spend more preparing data to analyze than actually analyzing data.

Solution:  Productivity-Focused Capabilities
By using Elasticsearch, Intergraph InSight Explorer can quickly analyze data field queries and full-text searches on millions of records from disconnected systems. It provides a map-based analytics picture for structured and unstructured data. Both of these capabilities help to reduce manual processes and the amount of time analysts need to find, retrieve, and prepare crime data for analysis. Intergraph InSight Explorer combines unstructured data, tabular results, fuzzy logic, and geo-referenced and non-XY data to harmonize inconsistent data across system and deliver a more complete analysis. It also has a wide range of widgets, filters, and charts to display analytic results in ways that help analysts quickly understand trends.

The other time-saving benefit that Intergraph InSight Explorer offers is that it expands the reach of analytics tools from traditional crime, incident, and intelligence analysts to detectives, investigators, and lieutenants. With these users having access to analytics tools, investigation analysis and other decisions can be made faster and done on-the-fly. The tool helps to remove bottlenecks when analysts are busy working on higher-priority projects or where analytical resources are lacking.

In my next post, I will discuss how analysts have limited access to historical data due to scalability issues in many incident and investigative analysis solutions. If you interested in learning more about Intergraph Insight Explorer, visit our product page today.


Jack Williams
About Jack Williams

Jack Williams is the product manager for Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure's public safety analytics and records management solutions. Williams' technical background, versatile skill-set, and multi-domain expertise has enabled him to successfully identify, manage, and drive new product capabilities and opportunities in key industries.

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