In recent years, agencies across the criminal justice spectrum have been actively considering how to increase transparency across their organizations while simultaneously improving community trust. The 21st Century Policing Task Force created by President Obama in 2014, for example, worked to research this very subject because of the topic’s prominence in public discourse.
As law enforcement agencies continuously work to analyze their data more efficiently and effectively, modern records management systems (RMS) can equip officers with configurable data analytic tools to aid these efforts, all directly from within their RMS dashboard.
In this blog, we’ll examine some of the features of modern RMS Analytics technology and how law enforcement agencies can leverage these tools to share data with their communities and increase trust and transparency. Additionally, we’ll explore how to vet RMS software providers for analytic capabilities, scalability, integrations, implementation processes, ongoing training, and more.
The State of Legacy RMS Analytics Technology
Limited Data Access
Many law enforcement agencies work with crime analysts to better understand and share their data with relevant parties. However, when working with older, legacy RMS platforms, it can be greatly time-consuming for crime analysts to thoroughly comb through and aggregate data. This tedious process can slow agencies’ timely access to data, which can have numerous repercussions.
For example, without timely data access, officers can’t leverage data to make informed, data-driven decisions in the field. In this way, delayed data can prevent officers from nimbly responding to localized crime trends and patterns. Contrastingly, quick access to data views and interpreted data can empower officers with community-specific knowledge to influence their policing efforts and strategies.
“Dirty” Data in Legacy RMS Models
Alongside slower data collection and analysis, legacy records management systems don’t provide features to aid users in preventing human error. For example, many legacy systems, likely don’t generate NIBRS-compliant reports or validate fields throughout the reporting process.
While no technology is immune to human error, older platforms make it increasingly difficult for users to ensure data is correct throughout the reporting process. As a result, crime analysts must attempt to tidy and comb through “dirty data” on the backend, which ultimately delays or prevents the agency from accessing truly usable, accurate data.
The Opportunity of Emerging RMS Analytics Software
New, modern RMS platforms can empower agencies with tools that instantly aggregate necessary data. Instead of spending valuable time sifting through vast quantities of information, RMS users can leverage tools like configurable viewpoints, data dashboards, and more, to better view and share their agency’s analytics.
Configurable Data Viewpoints
Modern RMS Analytics tools can enable officers to quickly select specific filters while viewing data, allowing officers to compare specific datasets. For example, an officer could use RMS analytics tools to compare local crime statistics in regard to factors such as race, gender, location, time, and type of offense. These detailed filters are increasingly necessary, particularly as agencies strive to open transparency on statistics for data on subjects like Use of Force, Racial Profiling, and more.
Alongside configurable data viewpoints, data dashboards are increasingly being used to communicate data on a public and community level. Law enforcement agencies and prosecutors are actively considering the possibilities of public-facing data dashboards and how these delineated statistic views can open transparent dialogues to bolster community trust. In this way, RMS platforms with embedded analytic technology can support agencies in accurately collecting data to craft these dashboards.
Vetting Technology that Offers Quality RMS Analytics
So, how do law enforcement agencies select a records management system that offers the tools needed to support these features?
When looking for an RMS platform, it can be challenging to compare the functionalities of different providers. Here are some things to consider when considering RMS Analytics offerings:
Scalability refers to a platform’s ability to adapt and grow with not only an agency’s changes but also, the change and growth of technology as a whole. By vetting a product’s scalability, your agency can select a provider that has the capability to adopt emerging technology trends in real time. This is vital, considering that many government technology contracts are lengthy. Make sure your RMS platform can support growth for years to come.
- Secure API Technology
Application programming interfaces (APIs) allow software systems to send information back and forth from one another. RMS platforms that leverage secure API technology can allow your agency to connect your RMS to other helpful technology tools. For example, with secure API technology, your agency can quickly utilize data from your RMS in other connected databases, such as add-on analysis or statistical software. Like scalability, this integration capability is a necessity for any agency that wants to prepare for any growth, whether agency-related or technology-related.
Implementation: The Journey to Clean Data
After selecting an RMS, implementing any new software can be a daunting task. Particularly, when considering processes such as data conversion, it can be especially such.
When selecting a new RMS that supports quality analytics, it’s necessary to work with a provider that will thoroughly scrub any existing data to make sure that it’s clean and usable. Without this process, data can become contaminated from the very start of your new RMS Analytics technology. To learn more about data cleanliness and its importance, read more here.
All of this considered, carefully inquire about a provider’s implementation procedures and processes to ascertain their commitment to clean data. Additionally, it’s worthwhile partnering with an RMS provider for internal training to equip officers and system users with best practices for maintaining clean data within your new RMS system. Make sure your RMS provider provides opportunities for engaging, in-depth training that can allow officers to feel confident and comfortable on the new RMS platform.
CivicRMS: Integrated, Advanced RMS Analytics Technology
CivicRMS is CivicEye’s advanced solution for law enforcement records management and RMS analytics. Designed by officers for officers, CivicRMS equips officers with vital records management tools, while also enabling agencies with the room to grow and adopt future-proofed technologies and processes.
In addition to RMS analytics, CivicRMS provides agencies with access to real-time updates, rapid search index technology, single-entry data fields, and more. These features not only save officers time, but also help officers close cases more quickly, prevent human error, and streamline reporting procedures.
Particularly, CivicRMS embraces the possibility of scalable, secure API technology, empowering users to continuously stay on the forefront of industry trends and requirements.
To learn more about the specifications of CivicRMS and how this product was crafted with analytics in mind, click here.
As analytics become more and more of a necessary requirement for law enforcement agencies, it’s critical that RMS platforms embed and integrate with the best tools to support these efforts. In particular, RMS analytics tool providers need to equip officers with scalable and integration capabilities, while also offering quality, in-depth training opportunities.
CivicEye is proud to equip agencies across the United States with the latest RMS technology. To learn more about our mission and how we can support your law enforcement agency, click below.
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