By Rob Starr, Big4.com Content Manager.
The Seattle Police Department (SPD) has selected Accenture to help them better use the wealth of information they have at hand. A data analytics platform to be designed by the global technology company will analyze, consolidate and manage data focusing on officer training and workforce management, police calls and use-of-force incidents, as well as interactions with the public and administrative processes.
Jody Weis is director of Accenture’s Public Safety business in North America. He told us his company did a little police style sleuthing of their own to prepare.
“In some ways, we did a lot of old fashioned detective work,” he said. “We learned about what the issues were, we studied the Consent Decree and we developed relationships with some members of the department.”
Need for Changes
The need for changes in the way the SPD reviewed and reported data was first identified in a 2011 Department of Justice Investigation. The deployment of a new system was supported in a subsequent report by The Seattle Police Monitoring Team. An extension in procuring a data analytics platform to address the issues was granted last August.
Weis says the data analytics platform that resulted from the process will present two opportunities to help the SPD.
“First off, it answers all of the issues and concerns of the federal Consent Decree and gives the department a chance for an early intervention system to identify those officers whose interactions with the public might be outside the norm of what’s expected for a police officer,” he says adding the new project also supplies a template for bringing all the different data systems together.
This integration will take place through a secure and robust IT architecture and provide all the system development and software services needed. The overall project management will be led by Accenture Digital and Information Builders and Accel BI will also be members of the team.
Tons of Information
“In a police department, there is tons of information,” Weis says. “Everytime there’s an arrest, a field interrogation, a car stop or anytime there’s an interaction with the public, there’s an opportunity to gain more information.”
He furthers that part of the problem is this information can rest in different silos and finding it could mean going to five or six different systems to locate what’s needed in the course of an investigation.
“By bringing all these systems together and building this data analytics platform, officers can use information that might have been hidden from them before and start building an intelligence base to drive the deployment of their resources.”