Expect more data innovation in 2013
By Bob Schassler
Last year was exciting for public safety, with critical advances in wireless data, smart devices and data-sharing. Hidden in this newfound wireless access and data is intelligence. This year, we’ll see new technologies that let public-safety agencies collect and synthesize this flood of information into actionable mission-critical responses and predictive policing.
Data information is at the forefront of public safety’s future. Access to vast amounts of data through smartphones, video, social networks and text messages promises to transform the way public-safety agencies operate, so they can make smarter, quicker decisions.
Most of this data is unstructured and unmanageable, but new technologies are helping agencies unify multiple sources of data. Communication centers are evolving into highly complex, multimedia command theaters that manage data to create a real-time operational view and turn it into useful, actionable intelligence. More importantly, unifying this data and understanding the general capabilities of all involved technologies is critical to preserving the operational requirements of every agency and their users into the future.
With the use of data rising in importance, more agencies are taking notice of automated intelligence and video analytics that could change their current command environments. Such dynamic intelligence can lead to agencies’ systems automatically adapting to changing situations. It also will let them synthesize information to find patterns in data and proactively develop strategies to prevent crime before it happens.
Using data for predictive policing is growing quickly, as departments recognize the power of tools such as crime-mapping software and historical data to allocate resources. Departments understand the effectiveness of these tools in preventing crimes.
But none of this can happen without a mission-critical network that evolves to handle increased data and information sharing. Add more users and devices to the equation, and it becomes even more complicated — and more vulnerable. As a result, networks are being based more on open standards to allow seamless roaming and interoperability across agencies while securing communications from external attack. With cybersecurity incidents on the rise, departments are challenged to establish and update communications security frameworks for the ever-changing technological landscape.
Another trend we’re expecting to grow in 2013 concerns cloud services.
Budget-conscious governments and public-safety agencies are shifting from capital-intense, customer-owned business models to managed-service models that replace large, upfront purchases with monthly fees. More and more entities are implementing off-premise models like cloud services or are hiring outside companies to manage and operate these systems.
This newfound data ushers in a new environment for public safety, and 2013 has the potential to be a very exciting year for technology. With the continued evolution of data-analyzing tools, video, advanced networks and services, public-safety agencies are on the edge of a technological revolution. This surely will change the ways departments operate, connect with their citizens and transform information into intelligence that ultimately allows them to make more informed — and often critical — split-second decisions.
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Bob Schassler is senior vice president of government solutions for Motorola Solutions.