How Law Enforcement Can Use Data Visualization to Improve Efficiency and Effectiveness

TIBCO Data Visualization
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Data is a critical resource for law enforcement agencies, but it is of little use without data visualization.

For law enforcement, data is the key to enhanced situational awareness, but having too much data can overwhelm analysts, command staff, and enforcement members. Currently, the amount of data available is growing exponentially, and much of it is unstructured. As a result, it is difficult to manage and exploit.

Thankfully, technology is doing an excellent job of keeping up with the high rate of data proliferation. Today, data integration tools can aggregate all the relevant information within and outside your agency and analyze it to deliver insights via a single platform. With robust data visualization techniques, you can see a common operating picture painted by different data sets, and find answers to critical questions without wasting valuable time organizing information.

Data Visualization Use Cases for Law Enforcement  

Data visualization complements data analytics by converting the information collected from various sources into a clear picture, using familiar elements such as graphs, charts, and maps. This easily digestible view of police data can help officers, command staff, and analysts in several significant ways. Here are five ways law enforcement can use data visualization:

1. Interpreting Visual Data Patterns

When presented effectively, large volumes of data can communicate all at once. This is because processing ready images are much easier than synthesizing mental visualizations from numbers or text. In fact, research indicates that the human brain processes visual data 60,000 times faster than it does text.

In addition to gaining quick insights from vast amounts of disparate data, law enforcement professionals can use data visualization to establish the relationships of independent variables and form patterns from historical data. This way, they can better understand operations, identify improvement areas, and uncover missing evidence links for faster case resolution.

2. Allocating Resources Effectively

Faced with limited resources, law enforcement agencies must strive for more efficient resource allocation every day. Resources can include personnel, tools and safety devices, or systems deployed to uphold public safety. Inefficient use of these resources can negatively impact crime clearance, department morale, and community perception. 

A data visualization platform enables agencies to quickly pinpoint areas that require immediate and long-term attention. Graphs, charts, and maps can clearly demonstrate which crimes have the biggest community impact and assist in strategic resource deployment strategies.  Consequently, command staff can prioritize more effectively, which leads to improved community perception and increased crime clearance. 

3. Anticipating Future Incidents

Predictive and prescriptive analytics enable law enforcement professionals to use the data they collect to build statistical models for anticipating increases in incident rates, traffic accidents, and vulnerable populations. Data visualization is a critical component because it provides an easy-to-understand translation of these machine learning models and presents actionable intelligence for law enforcement personnel. 

Data visualization enables an agency’s understanding of the patterns within every collected data set. They can see which metrics are going up or down within their jurisdiction and how strategic initiatives have affected incident rates in the past. This information can help plot the potential future of certain incidents, giving law enforcers the necessary visibility to establish future response plans.

4. Sharing Law Enforcement Data

With data visualization, everyone in the chain of command can benefit from data analytics, even if they are not data experts. For instance, detectives investigating organized crime activity can gain insight into the connections between persons, property, and financial transactions within the organized group without needing to be financial analysts. Visualization combines technical analysis with creative, visual storytelling, enabling anyone to see what the data is communicating.

Outside of the agency, data visualization can help officers from different teams share information seamlessly without worrying about their systems’ incompatibilities. Instead of exchanging raw data and analyzing it independently, agencies can share reports of already-analyzed data and quickly get the insights they need to solve cases effectively and deploy resources efficiently.

5. Improving Service Delivery

Data visualization gives law enforcement agencies unique opportunities to connect with their communities. While raw data is impractical to share with the public, police agencies can use visualization techniques to present incident-rate trends, initiate awareness about emerging security concerns, or promote community engagement

Using data visualization to enhance the connection between agencies and the communities they protect helps create a sense of trust and cooperation, making it easier to gather evidence and solve cases.

Achieve Law Enforcement Data Visualization Excellence With TIBCO

Law enforcement agencies worldwide are actively using data visualization techniques to make faster and more accurate decisions. The insights derived from visual analytics are helping keep law enforcement personnel and civilians safe, reduce operational costs, and improve investigation outcomes.

Today, data integration tools can aggregate all the relevant information within and outside your agency and analyze it to deliver insights via a single platform. Click To Tweet

At TIBCO, we understand the importance of proper data visualization to law enforcement. TIBCO’s data integration platform for law enforcement features intuitive visualization tools that help depict policing data in a clear, organized, and meaningful way. TIBCO can give your team everything it needs to make fast and informed decisions based on sound, well-represented data.

Ask an expert today how TIBCO can help you make better use of your data.