As the senior vice president for software development at Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure, I lead teams that solve problems. More specifically, our teams create tools that help other people solve their problems. It sounds simple. But there’s nothing simple about the work our customers do, from planning and operating utility networks to managing public safety answering points.
One of their challenges involves data. Data is tricky, because it’s both a problem and a problem-solver. Data about incidents, assets, and people help our customers meet the needs of their customers – delivering vital services the public depend on. But the enterprise systems, sensors, and devices that support public safety, utilities, transportation, and other services generate tremendous amounts of data. Our customers must figure out how to utilize that data to work more efficiently and improve the services they provide.
The challenge, then, is finding the signal in the noise. Analytical tools are the most powerful way to do this. By discovering, analyzing, and presenting data, organizations can better understand what has happened, what is happening, and what may happen.
For example, the need for analytics has gained momentum among law enforcement agencies in recent years. By integrating, analyzing, and visualizing terabytes of structured and unstructured data, police can solve and prevent crimes and communicate the results. They can be more proactive than reactive, putting the right resources in the right place at the right time with no doubt. The same is true for infrastructure. Consider the opportunities analytics could provide to move utility crews from scheduled to preventative to predictive maintenance.
That’s why we’re working to deliver analytical tools to our customers, from supervisory dashboards to support real-time operations to more strategic applications for planning and investigations. Realizing potential requires insight, and insight requires understanding. Through analytics, we’re helping organizations better understand their data and, therefore, better understand the services they provide.
Dan Retzer serves as Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure’s senior vice president of global product development.