MCP Insights

A Three-Pronged Strategy for Integrating Data into Public Safety Operations

Posted on January 4, 2021 by Dave Usery

A recent blog examined the need for public safety and justice agencies to integrate data into their daily operations. This integration has two distinct but interrelated elements—data gathering/exchange and data leveraging. Data needs to be captured effectively and efficiently, and then flow seamlessly between agencies, departments and their field personnel, and between disparate networks and systems. The data needs to be actionable so that it can inform the decision-making process and be made available to any authorized user whenever they need it.

This blog suggests a few approaches to accomplishing that integration.

To wit, MCP has developed three new solutions to help the public safety and justice agencies integrate their data: DataLink, DataSphere and DataScape. Each solution leverages open standards-based software that MCP subject matter experts adapt and configure based on the individual needs of each client.

Let’s examine each of these solutions:

DataLink™ Interface Solution—This solution enables secure, bidirectional data flow between two specific endpoints, such as applications or databases, on a one-to-one basis. Examples include data exchange between a computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system and a records management system (RMS) and between an RMS and a state- or federal-level computerized criminal history data repository, such as the National Incident-Based Reporting System or the National Crime Information Center, both maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

DataSphere™ Integration Solution—This solution enables data exchange on a many-to-many basis—think of it as a compilation of many DataLink connections. Often these connections are between disparate systems and data hubs. The way that inmate-related data flows between the justice community and the healthcare community provides an example. Data from a law enforcement RMS and a correctional facility’s jail management system (JMS) first would flow into the justice community’s secure data hub. Once there, it would flow via an interface into the healthcare community’s secure data hub, where it could be accessed by hospitals, urgent-care centers and rehabilitation facilities. The idea behind DataSphere is similar to that of DataLink, but its scope is larger by orders of magnitude—it is architected to enable all authorized entities within an ecosystem, as well as multiple ecosystems, to seamlessly exchange data and to manage it effectively.

DataScape™ Analytics Solution—This solution leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-learning (ML) technology to make sense of a tremendous amount of unstructured data. DataScape enables data gathering from a great many sources, without any need to convert the information into a specific platform. Once the data is gathered, the solution’s AI and ML capabilities are leveraged to “slice and dice” the data, i.e., it is analyzed and contextualized. Patterns then emerge that no one would have imagined before. These patterns greatly enhance the ability to investigate crime and, even better, predict it. DataScape can be described generically as a “data lake.” But DataScape differs significantly from generic data lakes due to MCP’s intimate knowledge of the public safety and justice landscape, which significantly factors into how the solution is customized for each client.

Data has been described as the oil of the 21st century. There is a tremendous amount of it right now, and the amount will continue to expand exponentially, driven by broadband communications systems, alarm systems and the Internet of Things. But raw data, like oil, has no utility unless it can be harnessed and refined effectively. In the public safety and justice community, this means the ability to exchange data seamlessly, and to analyze and contextualize it so that it is actionable. MCP’s new DataLink, DataSphere and DataScape solutions are architected to accomplish these goals, and ultimately, have the power to improve outcomes for our clients. We’d love to the opportunity to tell you more and answer your questions—please reach out.

Dave Usery is MCP’s director of integration services and solutions for Mission Critical Partners. He can be emailed at DavidUsery@MissionCriticalPartners.com.

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