A ccording to International Data Corporation (IDC), big data and business analytics generated nearly $122 billion in revenue worldwide in 2015. And that’s a fraction of what it’s expected to reach in the next five years. Based on its projections, IDC expects the big data business to reach $187 billion in 2019 (IDC press release). Why the growth? In large part, it’s due to the potential of predictive analytics.

Predictive analytics is the use of advanced data science to offer a “forecast” of the future. In essence, predictive analytics tools use algorithms to analyze data sets—both past and present—to build models that can be used to predict future activities, behaviors, trends, and risks with a high degree of probability. The more data analyzed, the better the models—hence, more accurate predictions. That’s the value of big data.

With the prevalence of big data, every industry is exploring ways to use analytics to improve their operations and to further their objectives. And that includes law enforcement.

For law enforcement officials, protecting citizens and reducing crime are their top priorities. However, much of law enforcement, by nature, is reactive; a crime occurs and officers respond. But law enforcement agencies would prefer to spend less time collecting facts and evidence after an incident occurs and more time on prevention.

With that goal in mind, law enforcement is applying predictive analytics in hopes of improving their chances of preventing crime before it occurs. It’s called “predictive policing,” and it’s based on advanced analysis of data sets compiled from various sources and indicators, such as past crime statistics (i.e., crime type, location, date/time), 911 calls, and trends to help better inform officers. For example, Pittsburgh is undertaking a pilot program where officers will use maps generated by predictive analytics algorithms to “show locations where crime is likely to occur”(AAAS article). Some believe this capability will help officers become more proactive and more effective at preventing crime.

Video surveillance data is one important data source for predictive policing. Video footage from dash cameras, building and street surveillance cameras, and body-worn devices provides valuable information to law enforcement. And when aggregated with output from predictive analytics algorithms, video can be an important variable used to “predict” where additional policing efforts may be needed.

This ongoing effort to improve policing is leading law enforcement to explore innovative approaches and apply more science-based strategies. In fact, the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) recently announced more than $34.5 million in funding to help “reduce crime, improve community safety, and provide a science-based approach to criminal justice operations.” Distributed through nine grant programs, dubbed a “Smart Suite,” this strategic approach is designed to “bring more science into criminal justice operations by leveraging innovative applications of analysis, technology, and evidence-based practices.” According to Assistant Attorney General Karol V. Mason, the results are encouraging (Department of Justice news release).

For predictive policing efforts, as with all big data applications, storage is important. As more and more data is generated over time, storage capacity must increase to house the “data lakes” that are created. And that data must be retained for a long time and remain accessible in order for it to be analyzed by predictive analytics algorithms.

Utilizing a multi-tier storage solution is the most cost-effective approach to solving the storage challenge. Quantum’s multi-tier solution consists of high-performance disk, secondary disk, tape, and the cloud. Files are stored based on user-defined priority, but remain easily accessible regardless of the tier. This ensures data files are always available and stored on the least expensive media to minimize storage costs.

To learn more about how Quantum’s multi-tier storage solution can help you solve your storage challenges and unlock the potential of video surveillance and predictive analytics, visit our video surveillance solutions page.

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