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3 Ways Big Data Analytics Can Improve Safety in Cities

Posted by Charlie Baker on Nov 13, 2016 5:33:57 PM

Fact Or Fiction?

You might remember a movie from the early 2000s called Minority Report. The film, which starred Tom Cruise, was set in a futuristic society where telepaths could predict crime before they occurred, leading to the arrest of criminals for something they had not done yet. The movie, though well-made and quite thrilling, is of course a dramatic work of fiction. Nevertheless, the idea of trying to prevent crime instead of just responding to it is one which certainly has appeal. One method some major cities are using to help deter and respond to crime is Big Data Analytics. We have spoken about Big Data before, as well as given examples of how some organizations and companies have used it to improve their brand. Here’s now a more in-depth look!

How Cities Utilize Big Data Analytics for Safety

The massive amount of data generated by Big Data Analytics gives us a much wider view of the areas affected by crime and what crimes specifically are being committed. This is the age of information, and digital knowledge is next to useless unless it is coming instantly. The use of Big Data Analytics has helped give rise to Real Time Crime Centers. These facilities are responsible for monitoring and capturing information as quick as possible in order to alert authorities to crime. Sometimes, facilities like this are even able to prevent crime before it happens. Data from past crimes can also be used. For example, analyzing large crowd movement patterns during a shooting can help authorities better prepare for handling a panicked crowd in the unfortunate event that another occurs. This streamlined integration of the modern data and the historical is an advantage crime-fighters have now that they never could have imagined even 30 years ago. The RTCC in New York is one of the earliest examples of this kind of facility, and the results of its efforts have been promising.  

Of course violent crime isn’t the only safety risk when it comes to living in cities. In 2015, New York City catalogued over 19,000 accidents involving motor vehicles, nearly 4000 of which resulted in injury or death. The data that is generated from Big Data Analytics can help smooth the traffic flow in problem areas and alert the local government to which areas pose the greatest risk for accidents. Perhaps, for example, there is a certain roundabout which shows an above-average number of collisions involving cyclists. Using this information, the city could build special paths for cyclists that bypass that roundabout, helping keep the cyclists and drivers safer.

And speaking of infrastructure, public safety doesn’t just end at the streets. Big Data Analytics helps cities identify problems with infrastructure, which can help them prepare better for emergencies. This is especially prevalent during weather emergencies like the recent hurricane. In the aftermath of such events, the roads need to be cleared as quickly as possible to allow for first responders to reach those in need. Big Data Analytics can help make the cleaning up process faster, and allow the first responders to get where they need to be. Salting roads ahead of blizzards is also super helpful.

Is it Time for You to Embrace Big Data?

Of course, Big Data doesn’t just have to be used in cities. It can be utilized for tech firms, small businesses, non-profits, and other organizations as well. The potential application of Big Data is only limited by your creativity. If you are interested in discovering how to use Big Data for your own purposes, check out ROK Tech’s websites. Our experts will set you up  with enhanced cloud services for your GIS and provide you with location analytics based solutions. If you want to start utilizing Big Data right now, then start a free 30 day trial. Get the most out of your data, with ROK Tech!

Topics: big data, Public Safety

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