When it comes to keeping everyone in a society safe, it is important for people working within a public safety capacity to use absolutely every single tool at their disposal. Still, it can be difficult to know which tools are the most useful in this respect. If you are working in a public safety role or you are thinking about moving into this type of industry, then it is definitely worth being aware of the manifold uses that data analytics can bring to your life. This guide will outline the core ways that data analytics can be used in order to ensure public safety. Nonetheless, it is worth clarifying a central question first, chiefly:
What Are Data Analytics?
Data analytics refers to a type of science where raw data is analyzed in order for experts to glean new insights from the data they have been given. This is rarely something that is done manually but is usually processed through the use of machines and, more specifically, algorithms. The right algorithms that can understand the ways in which data can be best understood to come to new conclusions and create actionable insights can have the ability to change the world as we know it. It can also mean a lot of interesting developments when it comes to public safety.
Identifying Crime Hotspots
Crime is a big issue in some cities in Canada, such as Vancouver, London, and especially Toronto. Public safety officials are always concerned about the rise of violence in any form and try to do what they can to make sure that people are as safe as possible. The great part about data analytics is that they can locate where and when crime hotspots occur, allowing law enforcement officers to be better used in the right spaces.
Crime Prevention Through Social Media Monitoring
When it comes to fighting crime, prevention is just as important as apprehending the culprits. One way that public safety officials can help to stop crimes from occurring is by actively monitoring social media. For example, by looking at groups with a known penchant for inflammatory speech and seeing what the individuals involved in that group are saying, the authorities can have the power to shut these groups down.
The important part is to use the data in a fair and proportionate way. While hate speech and the incitement of violence cannot be tolerated, it is important for public safety officials to not give off the impression that they are being constantly monitored, as this could actually backfire and keep on giving off an “us versus them” narrative.
Identifying Pandemic Cluster Areas
When it came to people across Canada and other countries fighting against the coronavirus pandemic, data analytics has been massively helpful. It has helped them to understand where the virus occurs, how it has traveled between different people, and where virus clusters are. By understanding where the clusters are, targeted measures against the coronavirus pandemic can be used where necessary.
This is especially important when considering the massive backlash against blanket coronavirus policies, as seen by the trucker convoy protest in Ottawa. This means that public health officials need to make sure that they are fighting the coronavirus pandemic without alienating large swathes of the population, something that good data analytics can achieve. This is true not only for the coronavirus pandemic, however, but something that can be applied to any pandemics as and when they occur.
Identifying Human and Sex Trafficking Victims
Data analytics has made huge inroads when it comes to identifying people who are victims of human and sex trafficking. This is because when law enforcement agencies are looking to find ways to identify where it is taking place, it helps for there to be a large open-source resource that they can use in order to properly track the situation. It is likely that the use of data analytics will only rise in the future when it comes to tackling this huge issue.
Emergency Response Allocation
When emergencies occur, it is very important to make sure that you are aware of what they are and what can be done in order to make sure that people get the resources that they need. This is especially true when it comes to a large emergency with many different elements. By having an open-source platform where people are able to understand where the response should be best allocated, the risks of the disaster getting worse in certain areas is minimized. This is true no matter whether the disaster is a natural one stemming from a wildfire, earthquake, and so on, or even a manmade one, such as a terrorist attack or even an invasion.
How to Gain a Better Understanding
If you have read this guide and want to gain a better understanding of the ins and outs of data analytics and how they can be used for public safety yourself, then it is definitely recommended to enter into higher education. The great news is that there are specific degrees that combine the two disciplines and how they interlock that can be studied online. Take a look around now for a great GIS diploma that you can take advantage of now, increasing your employability as well as your chances of being paid more in any job that you may actually end up working in.
It has been the express aim of this guide to give you the best overview with regard to what you should know about how data analytics can be used for public safety. It’s worth pointing out that there are a whole series of other applications that can be applied to the realm of public safety that you should definitely know about, but that hasn’t been written down in this list. That means that if you are on the fence about taking up a diploma in this related topic, it is definitely worth revisiting this list in the near or far future.