BI provider QlikTech has told how police analysts in Sweden used QlikView to assist with a high-profile crime case which lasted more than a year. The software enabled the police to analyse data and reports that would have taken one police officer in excess of 43 years.
“Speed is of essence in any police work all over the world,” says police analyst Berth Simonsson. “With this ground=breaking technology, we can save lives, predict crime and target anti-social behaviour.”
The crimes took place in the Swedish city of Malmö where people were shot at while they stood at bus stops, sat in their cars, and moved about indoors. One person died and several others were wounded in the attacks.
The Skåne (southern Sweden) police department currently has about 100 QlikView applications, rolled out over the past three years. Malmö police analyst Berth Simonsson is part of a team of two who support 3 500 people in the police force, including about 50 analysts.
Although the Malmö police department is a long-time customer of QlikView, it had never been used to analyse criminal activity.
For this case, the analysts loaded 10 years’ worth of crime reports (2-million reports, comprising 2-billion rows of data) into an existing QlikView application. It took three hours to load the data and configure interactive reports, and police analysts could immediately begin investigating the data.
Because of the power of QlikView to analyse multiple data streams from any source, the police department was also able to add in and cross reference information from the “tip line” submitted from vigilant citizens.
Simonsson comments: "QlikView has been a labour-saving tool for the police. Police analysts ask questions and QlikView delivers answers instantly. Instead of going through the reports manually, we have been able to go through lots of information quickly to find the link that otherwise would have been hard to detect."
Without QlikView, police analysts would have had to read every crime report manually to search for clues that might lead them to a suspect. Simonsson estimated that it would have taken three people three months to read through just one year of reports. With the additional 10 years' worth of historical data for this serial killer case, analysing the entire set could have taken 43 years for one officer to analyse.
BI can also be used as a powerful investigtive tool. If police analysts have an idea about a case, they can use QlikView to test clues. They can search for any city, time of day, reported behaviour, or other details. The QlikView associative experience enables them to explore trends in the data. If they find something of interest (for example, red car or red truck), they can click a button to view the entire crime report immediately.
Now that the police analysts have experienced the power of QlikView for solving crimes, there are plans to use it more broadly.