Solving the 4 Big Challenges Facing Crime and Incident Analysts – #1 Unstructured Data

Across many functions, law enforcement agencies need to assess diverse operational, intelligence, and event information to investigate crimes, optimize resources, and inform operational decisions. However, many agencies face significant technical and resource challenges to explore, analyze, and use data. And these challenges are part and parcel to each other.

From a technical perspective, there’s a growing demand for free-form information that’s vital to investigations, which is often captured in unstructured text fields. However, many crime mapping and analysis applications are unable to incorporate unstructured data in their processes, omitting an extensive amount of critical information and potentially hindering every investigation.

From a resource management perspective, most law enforcement agencies rely on a small number of people for analysis and reporting tasks, which creates a bottleneck that can hinder investigations and delay lower-priority jobs. Compounding these hindrances and delays are the very tools and systems analysts use to perform their jobs.

In this blog series, I’ve pinpointed four big challenges that many incident and crime analysts face. To address those challenges, I’m highlighting capabilities from Intergraph InSight Explorer, our new self-serve, web-based crime mapping and analysis application for law enforcement agencies. Without further ado, let’s look at the first challenge.

Challenge: Crime and Incident Analysts Are Unable to Analyze Unstructured Data
Records management systems (RMS) and computer-aided dispatch (CAD) systems contain a tremendous amount of valuable incident information and context, including modus operandi (M.O.) details, property descriptions, gang names, and even names of people and organizations. This information comes from police narratives, field interviews, and calls for service (CFS) event remarks. However, this type of information is primarily recorded as unstructured data in free-form text fields in an RMS or CAD system, which are not utilized in many of today’s analytics systems. Not having access to this unstructured data makes it difficult or impossible to understand the context of incidents or crimes which is vital to investigations.

Solution: Advanced Search Capabilities
Intergraph InSight Explorer leverages next-generation NoSQL search capabilities to unlock the value of unstructured and structured text data. By combining NoSQL search, fuzzy logic, tabular results, and geo-referenced and non-XY data, Intergraph InSight Explorer delivers the context crime and incident analysts need to fully understand valuable data, improve decision-making, and reduce crime. Intergraph InSight Explore also helps analysts and agencies discover, analyze, and visualize the complete analytics picture with interactive maps, tables, and charts.

In my next post, I will discuss how multiple, disconnect analytics applications and systems hinder analysts and agencies abilities to leverage critical information. If you interested in learning more about Intergraph Insight Explorer, visit our product page today.

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