Data Visualization Could Alter First Responders Efficiency

soldiers screens
090722-N-4995K-037 GULF OF OMAN (July 22, 2009) Operations Specialist 1st Class Eric Rodriguez stands the tactical information coordinator watch in the Combat Direction Center (CDC) aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). The CDC is responsible for gathering, processing, displaying and disseminating tactical information and intelligence to control stations throughout the ship. Ronald Reagan is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Chelsea Kennedy/Released)

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A visual data analytics platform was developed based on a technology that focuses on delivering real-time information for first responders.

Davista Technologies is targeting law enforcement, public safety, and health care sectors that are increasingly inundated with text, audio and visual data.

As reported on, Davista claims to improve forecasting and with it, more efficient allocation of resources by combining these data in the face of modern-day data overdose. Davista licensed its data visualization technology from Purdue University, leveraging software used to integrate large amounts of intelligence information with a range of visualization elements. The goal is to make better use of large data sets from a growing number of sources and formats.

Each time a 911 call comes in, for example, a record of the call is created and the data is categorized. The visualization platform tracks these records to help law enforcement agencies get a handle on crime trends and how and where to deploy resources while analyzing broader common traits. Along with a dashboard containing local maps and time visualizations, the platform includes a search engine used to ingest data from different sources. That data is combined with predictive techniques to provide situational awareness and what the startup calls “risk-based decision making.”

While the original visualization research was based on public safety and security applications, Purdue and Davista noted that researchers also have worked with hospital emergency rooms along with health insurance providers. That collaboration has spawned other generic products that could be used by a range of industries seeking to make sense of large data streams.

Thus it is no surprise that the startup is looking to expand to markets beyond homeland security and is hiring while seeking new investors. So far, the startup has launched interactive business intelligence and reporting tools and also developed a social media analytics and visualization platform that can be used in situations where threat warnings via Twitter can be extracted from a stream of tweets at, for example, a football game. The social media platform includes interactive topic extraction along with techniques such as media stream categorization.

The company emerged from a U.S. Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence. The first responder data visualization platform was developed over the last seven years. The startup said it has worked extensively with police departments and other first responders to identify their requirements, obtain feedback and test its system in the field.