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Business Intelligence Case Study

- Police Finding BI An Effective Partner In Crime Busting

One expects the FBI and CIA to embrace business intelligence solutions in their battle with crime, but a small police department in Odgen Utah has shown its not too scared to tackle the brute force BI can contribute to its force.

Chief Jon Greiner recently equipped his existing force of eight lieutenants and two assistant chiefs with new, easy-to-use, web-based business intelligence tools. The tools enable the force to combine and interrogate data from arrest records, court documents, probation logs, jurisdictional maps and other sources to identify patterns and hot spots effectively stopping crimes before they happen.

Surprisingly, the acceptance of the use of technology has been helped by the 'gaming' skills of the relatively young police officers. Adept at manouevring through game landscapes, geographic profiling of crimes and analysis of police data is proving no problem.

What once took days for a crime analyst to complete, is now being done in seconds - on the job.

As an added bonus, the experience of more mature police officers is being captured and applied to the crime analysis. Instead of 'who did' the focus is now on 'what if'.

Police officers are not alone in embracing the wider benefits of business intelligence and social appls. Physicians, accountants and salespeople are mashing up and analysing structured and unstructured data from disparate sources in a way that makes contextual sense to them.

With anecdotal evidence suggesting that no more than 20% of users in most organisations use reporting, ad hoc query and online analytical processing tools on a regular basis, the simplicity of the new generation of tools is radically changing the uptake. If a user has to involve IT in configuration or running reports - it either doesn't happen or the data is out of date when the task is finally completed.

Mashups with GIS mapping technology and on-demand BI solutions let users combine and display their own data with data from external sources - all without IT involvement.

And the benefits of BI are not stopping at the crime border - but are infiltrating management layers in policing and other emergency service organizations.

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