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Data analytics have become an essential factor in law enforcement operation, but further advances are still needed. Looking at past records to discover hot spots and trends allows teams to quickly know not only where to focus resources, but also where to use extra caution when responding to incidents.

Data fuels public safety intelligence through three main channels – Data analysis, visualization and sharing – creating a substantial intelligence-led policing strategy.

Data Analysis – This is most easily accomplished through a truly integrated RMS (records management system) and analytics system. Instead of looking for trends and similarities in several separate systems, using one integrated public safety software system, all information is coming through the same data hub and instantly saved to the centralized, integrated database.

Accessing this single database from the cloud is vital to crime analytics and intelligence-led policing initiatives because it allows you to access the entire database and all relevant records in one search or one cohesive report, according to an article regarding Motorola Solutions in policemag.com.

Data Visualization – There are many ways to visualize data, such as graphs, diagrams, and others. However, the two most common ways to visually represent your data analytics are through heat maps and pin maps. Using robust software capabilities, you can plot out the data in either map to reveal trends in crime throughout your community or region. This helps detect future needs and then adapting workflow processes.

Data Sharing – Accurate data is only helpful if it is accessible by those who need it. Live data-sharing capabilities in your public safety software are crucial to keeping all teams within your agency on the same page. This is true on the agency level, between agencies, and sharing with the community. Communities are essential in the fight against crime; sharing crime data publicly is the first step to establish transparency and increase mutual trust with law enforcement.

In the end, converting your agency’s historical data into actionable analytics is key to propelling your policing initiatives forward. Analytics is best used as a support mechanism to public safety, automating processes that are repetitive and take up critical resources.