The Results Driven Policing Conference, which was put on by the Penn State University Justice and Safety Institute and held in Baltimore recently, showcased the great performance improvements achieved by forward thinking law enforcement agencies throughout the United State and Canada. These agencies are under increasing pressure to improve public safety even as their staff and other resources required are cut due to the economic crisis. As the old saw goes, “necessity is the mother of invention” and a number of resource-constrained organizations are a case in point.
Take the East Orange Police Department for example. Faced with rising crime and unemployment rates but decreasing budgets, they turned to information technology to dramatically improve their performance while optimizing their resources. As Director Cordero of the East Orange PD stated in his presentation at the conference, “technology-enabled strategies have produced world class results, results that matter to the residents of our city”. Check out these links to view Director Cordero’s announcement of the system and to get a more in-depth explanation of how the system works.
Using a combination of data integration, business intelligence, data mining, and predictive analytics, East Orange police officers are alerted to emerging situational events, patterns, and trends- enabling the deployment of resources to potential “hot spots” before or immediately after a crime occurs. As a result, they are able to prevent crime rather than just react to it, which dramatically improves the efficiency of the force while enhancing public safety. The results: an incredible 76% reduction in the crime rate over the past 6 years in East Orange.
This is but one shining example of what can be accomplished through the application of advanced analytics. All organizations have plenty of data and the data that is being collected continues to grow exponentially. But, we all have to remember that all data is useless. That’s right- it is useless! That is, unless you analyze it. Innovative government organizations ranging from law enforcement to social services to natural resources are improving their results and citizen outcomes by taking actions that are derived from insight. How do they gain that insight? It is gained by analyzing their data- “seeing” things that they haven’t seen before. Knowing things that they haven’t known before.
Stay tuned as I explore more ways that the application of advanced analytics in state and local governments are improving the lives of citizens around the world- even in difficult economic times. In the meantime, I invite you to post your comments and stories of analytic-inspired innovation here or feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.