What is Data Analytics?

Data analytics is the set of techniques used to analyze raw data (unprocessed data) to extract relevant information, trends, and insights. This process includes collecting data, organizing it, and storing it, then performing statistical analysis on the data. Once the information is collected, conclusions can be drawn from it, which can be used for problem-solving, business processing, decision-making, and predictions that can inform what a company’s next steps should be. This process relies on disciplines like mathematics, statistics, and computer programming.

Data analytics has a wide range of applications across sectors, from healthcare to finance to education. This article will explore how data analytics can be applied to law enforcement to predict and prevent the occurrence of crimes.

How is Data Analytics used for Crime Prediction?

Big data offers many insights that are helpful for predicting crimes before they can occur. This process typically involves predictive analytics techniques, such as reviewing historic data in order to forecast geographical hotspots for criminal activity so that the appropriate resources can be directed toward crime prevention.

The following list contains several ways that data analytics is currently being used to predict crime:

  • Criminal profiling is the act of building a description of the potential perpetrator that is used for capturing the individual. A profile typically consists of relevant clues and behavioral connections the clues share. However, it is a time-consuming endeavor to create a thorough and helpful profile. By incorporating machine learning techniques, it’s easier to spot patterns and generate a detailed criminal profile in much less time.
  • Predictive policing is a practice that involves applying statistics and analytic tools to pinpoint the locations with the highest rates of crime and then to provide those areas with additional policing resources. This technique has been used in major cities like New York, Chicago, and London, and has led to a significant reduction in vehicle theft, burglaries, and robberies.
  • Data mining techniques can be used to identify a variety of patterns, such as theft, murder, or domestic violence.
  • Big data can be used as a weapon against sex abuse crimes. By using advanced data analytics, it’s now possible for police investigators to quickly sort through gigabytes of data, such as texts, images, or video, to find those who trade images of children.
  • Money laundering, healthcare fraud, insurance fraud, and insider trading are just a few of the financial crimes that can be predicted with the help of big data analytics. Current software is used to analyze both structured and unstructured data to search for potential evidence of a crime. In addition, the insights found from his data can be used to press charges against criminals who have committed fraud.

How is Data Analytics used for Crime Prevention?

Not only is data analytics used to predict the occurrence of crime, but it’s a powerful tool for crime prevention as well. There is a growing movement around the world to focus on preventing crimes before they take place. For example, in Africa, crime prevention measures are being incorporated into crowd management and road traffic accident prevention. In Asia, CCTV systems use advanced analytics to provide faster response times to public safety incidents. In South America, technology devoted to monitoring traffic on federal highways is being used to help with border protection.

In the United States, here are a few of the ways data analytics is helping prevent crime:

  • In addition to its applications for predicting crime, criminal profiling is also a crime-prevention measure. When it is used to compare the behavior of non-criminals to that of criminals, criminal intent can be spotted by those in law enforcement. They can then work to apprehend and rehabilitate the individual to prevent future crimes from occurring.
  • Social media policing provides a means to spot criminal intent early on and prevent crime. Because there are billions of social media users, however, manual policing efforts are not possible. With the help of modern data analytic tools, such as machine learning tools that are embedded into data analytics platforms, it’s possible to analyze billions of posts and comments. If any indicate criminal intent, the authorities are informed so that the individual can be apprehended before the crime is committed.
  • When applied to human trafficking, data analytics helps to monitor offenders, as well as unearth connections within the data itself that may have been previously overlooked. By extracting insights that can help solve existing crimes and prevent future ones from occurring, more cases can be solved and victims can be rescued.
  • Gun violence is on the rise in the US. Data analytics helps law enforcement officials track guns before they are used, as well as to trace weapons or bullets found at crime scenes to the manufacturer and owner of the weapon.
  • Data analytics can help determine the likelihood that a convicted criminal would pose a threat to public safety if they are released from prison or put on probation. This form of risk assessment is valuable for parole boards and judges in their decision-making process.
  • It’s now possible for law enforcement agencies all over the country to enter data from crime scenes into databases that are designed to locate connections between cases. This is a powerful tool for generating criminal profiles and narrowing down suspects.
  • When crime statistics are shared with the general public, those within the community often trust the police more and have a better relationship with those working in law enforcement. Dispersing national crime information is a powerful way of improving community relations and keeping citizens informed about how secure an area is.

In the future, as more advanced data analytic techniques emerge, the face of law enforcement is likely to continue to change. Advanced digital tools are expected to continue to help law enforcement officials find even more effective ways to identify and follow leads. As technology makes it easier and faster to spot potential crimes and to study those that have occurred to prevent future incidents, the hope is that the world will be made an even safer place with the help of data analytics.

Hands-On Data Analytics Classes

Do you want to learn more about data analytics? If so, Noble Desktop’s data analytics classes are a great starting point. Courses are currently available in topics such as Excel, Python, and data analytics, among others skills necessary for analyzing data.

In addition, more than 130 live online data analytics courses are also available from top providers. Courses range from three hours to six months and cost from $219 to $27,500. Students can study from the comfort of their own home or office space and still receive industry-relevant data analytics training.

Those who are committed to learning in an intensive educational environment may also consider enrolling in a data analytics or data science bootcamp. These rigorous courses are taught by industry experts and provide timely instruction on how to handle large sets of data. Over 90 bootcamp options are available for beginners, intermediate, and advanced students looking to master skills and topics like data analytics, data visualization, data science, and Python, among others.

For those searching for a data analytics class nearby, Noble’s Data Analytics Classes Near Me tool provides an easy way to locate and browse the 400 or so data analytics classes currently offered in the in-person and live online formats. Course lengths vary from three hours to 36 weeks and cost $119-$27,500.