Data analytics have become the cornerstone of decision-making for many public safety agencies and utility organisations around the world. It can help first responders and field crews better manage resources and improve security. But leveraging data analytics and implementing business intelligence can be a daunting task. Where does your organisation start? Who do you need to talk to? How do you effectively change the culture to ensure business intelligence is driving decision-making?
I spoke with Chris Klimm, executive consultant for Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure’s business intelligence solutions, to get his recommendations for helping agencies and utility organisations use data analytics to improve resource management and prepare for tomorrow’s challenges.
- Start with the business problems your agency or organization needs to solve.
Do you see some inefficiencies in the deployment of resources? Do you think there’s room for improvement in terms of resource utilisation? Wherever there are business problems to be solved, you can utilise data to find the answers. So, when you’re exploring business intelligence solutions, come with your business problems first. From there, you can determine if you already have access to the data needed to answer these questions. Or, you can start sorting out the best way to collect the data if it isn’t accessible. Overall, start your journey by understanding what goal you are trying to accomplish. You’ve got to start somewhere!
- Create a strategy with quick wins, or smaller attainable goals, to ensure agency buy-in.
A solution like Intergraph InSight, a public safety analytics tool, can present information that helps organisations discover deep insights buried in data sets to improve workflows, protect personnel, optimise resources, and more. But if you’re looking to implement Intergraph InSight, or frankly, any new technology, it’s best to start with a few attainable wins, rather than trying to completely change your business processes overnight. Often, organisations know they have data they could utilise to make more informed decisions – but internally, they don’t have the knowledge or understanding of “why” yet. If you achieve a few small wins to prove this is a worthwhile endeavor, you’ll get the internal buy-in and support you need. Then, once you have the system up and running with some success under your belt, you can tackle bigger issues with more long-term value to the organisation.
Here are a couple of ways organisations ensured success in the past:
- Talk to other groups who have already implemented a business intelligence solution and internal strategy. They should be able to discuss the shift in becoming a data-driven agency, and give examples of business problems they have solved since the implementation.
- Consult directly with business intelligence experts. Klimm, along with many employees at Hexagon, have a comprehensive understanding of our data schemes. They would be able to provide ideas and insights into the data and reports you can utilise to help your group transition. There is a lot of good technology out there that will work, but we can help by easing the path to success.
- Be prepared to scrutinise and clean your data before transforming it into intelligence.
Klimm has been working in the business intelligence world for many years. He said that one of the first things organisations realise is they need “good” data before they can leverage business intelligence. That means having a deep understanding of data and data processes, as well as discovering what data isn’t as clean as initially thought. One way to facilitate the transition from data collection to business intelligence is by implementing a “middle” group between the IT department and the Intergraph Computer-Aided Dispatch or Intergraph G/Technology business users. Ideally, this middle group would understand the technology and business processes, making implementation and acceptance for all groups easier.
If you’re ready to learn more about Hexagon’s current business intelligence offerings for your public safety agency or utility organisation, check out one of our webinars! Beginners should watch ‘EVOLUTION B.I. Webinar’, which explores the advanced power of Hexagon’s reporting and analytics solutions. Or, if you already have advanced knowledge of business intelligence, I recommend our ‘Evolve Public Safety Data into Advanced Analytics Webinar’, focusing on the advanced capabilities of Hexagon’s reporting and analytics solutions, including geospatial heat maps, vehicle location playback, and machine learning.
Pamela Bernier is a senior marketing specialist for Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure’s Canadian business unit. Bernier has five years of experience in the public safety and utilities industry including police, fire, emergency management, and distribution – gaining valuable insight into the global business. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University.