InetSoft BI Webcast: A Case Study of Geographic Business Intelligence

This is a continuation of the transcript of a Webinar hosted by InetSoft entitled "Geographic Business Intelligence Trends." The speaker is Mark Flaherty, CMO at InetSoft.

Mark Flaherty (MF): Information workers at a county seat’s administrative offices are detecting a rise in juvenile crime. Costs of policing are increasing, and insurance premiums and retail confidence are being affected. The staff is asked to understand the trends and try to discern the causes.

Specifically the arrest rates have risen among 11 to 15 year-olds. Now they need to understand when did the problem start? What could be the contributing factors for this rise in juvenile crime? And what possible solutions are available? Should policing be increased further? Or could youth services be improved?

They started with a dashboard view that shows the statistics related to the rise in juvenile crime among 11 to 15 year-olds. The chart shows a subset of county townships and the number of crimes committed weekly over the last three years and the associated police costs. With a quick glance the chart shows the crime levels were relatively static over the first 2 years, and many towns experienced a drop off in the current year. All except for one town. There was a huge spike. Police costs mirrored the pattern.

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Using a Heat Map Visualization

Now the manager clicks on the spike in the bar chart and the map on the right hand side updates to show that town with crime reports marked on the map using a heat map visualization. The hot red shows the problem areas. Also depicted on the map are the locations of youth services such as clubs. At first glance it seemed that in the areas not affected by juvenile crime, there are a scattering of youth services. Within the problem area, there are already a number of youth organizations. At first glance, it doesn’t appear that the number of youth service locations is a key issue.

Further analysis is necessary. Drilling into a related report lists each of the youth centers, their addresses and the number of activities currently offered. A quick glance at the report shows that there are differing numbers of activities among the centers offered for this age group, ranging from 1 to 5. So perhaps this is an issue. So the manager just needs to add that dimension to the map, using a sizing dimension, for each center, sized by number of activities offered. Lo and behold, more of the smaller circles are in the problem areas.

Further drilling into the details for the centers located in the problem area shows there used to be more activities, but indeed many activities were cancelled at the end of last year due to budget constraints. The costs savings of the budget cut can be compared to the cost increases of the policing. The cuts saved $142,000 but led to an increase in $894,000 in the police budget.

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