The Data Foundations of Crime Data Analysis

Jake Freivald
September 27, 2019

As more law enforcement agencies are becoming data-driven and analytically focused, we’ve seen an increase in the number of people who struggle to use the data that these agencies collect.

Crime data analysis often doesn't take place with a single analysis hub that provides data to investigators based on information captured in all of those policing systems.

Unlike policing operations, crime data analysis often doesn’t have a system of its own. There are investigation management systems, Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD), and Record Management Systems (RMS), all of which ensure that individuals get information they need at a specific point in a process, but often not a single analysis hub that provides data to investigators based on information captured in all of those systems.

If law enforcement personnel want to answer questions that will help them improve resource deployments, crime clearance, or officer safety, they first need to log into different systems, capture needed data elements, and dump them into spreadsheets.

Then they need to apply a lot of sophisticated thought to the data that they get, reconciling codes from different systems, fixing errors (if they can detect them) in names, addresses, and other data need, and connecting the dots between different records of the same person (e.g., someone who has been through arrest, trial, and imprisonment, with data in the systems that manage those processes). They also need to distinguished different people with similar characteristics (e.g., name, approximate address) from each other.

Only after that long, non-automated process can they even start to evaluate what the data means. And if they need answers in real time, forget it.

If they have to start all this anew, doing it by hand, each time they want to do crime data analytics, it becomes an error-prone, non-repeatable process.

A solid data integration foundation that includes data quality management (fixing bad data), master data management (connecting the dots between systems for a given person), reference data management (reconciling codes across applications), and more can make integration a continuous, real-time, process that’s foundational for crime data analysis, police operations, and a variety of other requirements.

Next-Generation Software for Data-Driven Policing

Information Builders is building the next generation of software for crime data analysis and other aspects of data-driven policing.

Our data and analytics platform can:

It manages the entire process of data management and analytics, from onboarding, cleansing, and integrating through visualizing, reporting, and distribution.

If you’d like to learn more, reach out -- we’d be happy to schedule a demonstration and discuss the ways we’ve made a difference in Law Enforcement.

  • Improve the quality of data
  • Make it easier to reconcile data from different systems
  • “Master” or bring together the data about bad actors from multiple systems
  • Provide the visualizations needed to help understand what’s happening now, what trends have brought us to this point, and what’s likely to happen in the future
  • Deliver real-time alerts

It manages the entire process of data management and analytics, from onboarding, cleansing, and integrating through visualizing, reporting, and distribution.

If you’d like to learn more, reach out -- we’d be happy to schedule a demonstration and discuss the ways we’ve made a difference in Law Enforcement.