January 2, 2012–Criminals work in patterns, as any law enforcement official will tell you. And like patterns in other fields, these can be subject to analytic analysis. We discovered more in a recent Network World story, “Analytics Help Police Stop Crime Before it Happens.”
Focusing on the Los Angeles Police Department’s use of big data, one spokesperson said: “We’re doing a rigorous examination, an experiment, for the next three months of predictive analytics and for the first time we’re going to rely 100% on the computer to forecast property crimes, which are the lion’s share of our crime.”
Wow, exciting times for crime fighting. Considering the power this tool potentially offers continually strapped police departments. Ideally, they’ll have as much success as the intelligence community has had with big data analytics. The most famous is Digital Reasoning’s unstructured data software, Synthesys, that (according to a recent interview) helps intelligence workers “prioritize, summarize, and make a reasonable level of proxy decisions for humans that are overloaded with information”. This seems like an apt comparison to the overload most police stations feel. These similarities could one day lead to similar methods of tracking down bad guys.