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Big Data’s Contribution to Public Safety By @BriggPatten | @BigDataExpo #BigData

A prime example is bridge maintenance where U.S department of transport collect tracks record from more than 600,000 bridges

Big Data's Contribution to Public Safety
By Brigg Patten

Public safety answering point (PSAP) has relatively remained unchanged over an extended period of time. However, due to emerging technology PSAP is changing dramatically and it is becoming invaluable to many agencies that deal with public safety. The change can be directly attributed to increased information from various sources that create big data. Big data can be defined as data that is too large and complex to be analyzed using traditional data processing methods. Today, a software can be employed to analyze and pick relevant information in a form of records, photos and more from a vast amount of collected data without the need of arduous task of manual searching.

Understanding how big data can be used to gather actionable information that promote public safety and improve people's lives is essential. Big data is indispensable in providing an insightful connection between factors that affect public safety and enables better response in the event of a disaster, both to businesses and government.

In healthcare, there are technology startups from which healthcare agencies can take advantage of big data and track of patients' behaviors to improve health outcomes. In healthcare big data collection is deploying gamification. Companies have developed different wearable trackers that can measure patient progress and performance. While the principles and concept of gamification are inborn to almost all people, games such as patient partner that are aimed to help patient adhere to medication and monster manor that engage children with diabetic, collect information from patients. They serve as prime gamification examples that can help collect big data geared toward health improvement and public safety.

A prime example how big data contribute to public security is bridge maintenance where U.S department of transport collect tracks record from more than 600,000 bridges. Traditionally the process of inspecting bridges has been slow and inaccurate since each bridge had to be inspected manually. From analyzes of big data collected, about 25% of those bridges have been classified as deficient. By placing a different kind of sensors in different areas, it becomes possible to track various factors that affect the structural integrity of the bridge. Sensors can be employed to monitor day-to-day tear and wear from regular traffic to effects of a winter storm or seismic activity. The sensors make it possible for data to be collected in a central location without the need to send a human inspector. In addition, it allows for real-time analysis of crucial data, especially when the data is coupled with other important factors, thus allowing the pending problem to be addressed faster.

In controlling crime rate, law enforcement relies on big data that is collected from different zones. Research has shown that crime activities often cluster at particular locations that can define easily. From a high school student research on big data project, a case study analyzing crime rate in San Francisco. The student found out that huge majority of crime occurs in areas with about ten liquor stores within a 2-mile radius. Also, they discovered that a particular area experienced a crime after every three hours, and whenever there was a game in the area the crime rate increased by 20%. The crime rate tends to be higher if the game was played on the weekend and it was even higher if the home team won. These were interesting insight collected after going through millions of data points. The study serves as a good example of a pilot project that can inform when crime rate, in particular, area tend to peak. Which street, events or business tend to attract crime rate or which areas in town need higher policing.

While improving public safety, utilities companies and government departments can make use of big data from which enormous amount of information and patterns are derived. This approach to public safety is supported by growing number of big data resources and advancing computer technologies. Besides, big data can improve efficiency and cut cost in promoting the long run

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Bob Gourley writes on enterprise IT. He is a founder and partner at Cognitio Corp and publsher of CTOvision.com