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GCN : April 2013
BIG DATA TECH ANALYSIS GCN APRIL 2013 • GCN.COM 29 Predictive analytics can help government agen- cies improve health care and quality of life, cut waste and abuse and even aid in the predic- tion of crime. But law enforcement officials might not get the results achieved by the specialized police depart- ment in the movie "Minority Re- port," which apprehended crimi- nals based on the foreknowledge of psychics called "precogs." In- stead, police departments from Baltimore to Miami are using ana- lytics software to forecast patterns and identify criminal hotspots in an effort to head-off crime and better allocate resources. Predictive analytics is an area of statistical analysis that deals with extracting information from data and using it to predict trends and behavior patterns. The term inherently suggests the future, but predictive analytics can be applied to any type of unknown situation, whether it is the past, present or future, expert say. "There are many disciplines within the analytic domain, and predictive analytics is one of them," said Mark Cleverley, pub- lic safety director for IBM. Predic- tive analytics allows analysts to construct a model of the world as it might be. The objective is to determine with a degree of confi- dence that a situation might hap- pen. Cleverley noted predictive ana- lytics is not a new discipline; it's been applied by engineers and scientists for years. The military was an early adopter, using ana- lytics to determine the likelihood of engine failures in vehicles. An- other well-known application is the use of a customer's credit his- tory to determine his likelihood to make future credit payments on time. Now, officials in federal, state and local agencies want to use predictive analytics to help make informed decisions based on in- creasingly large volumes and va- riety of data. CAPPING COSTS For instance, Miami-Dade County is collecting and analyz- Local governments from Baltimore to Miami are using analytics to reduce tra c jams, locate criminal hotspots --- and identify who left the water running. ANALYTICS: PREDICTING THE FUTURE (AND PAST AND PRESENT) BY RUTRELL YASIN MIAMI-DADE'S PARKS, BY THE NUMBERS 35 Municipalities giving data to Miami-Dade for analysis 263 Parks in Miami-Dade county 4 million Annual amount in dollars county paid due to rising water costs 20 Amount of expected reduced water consumption after implentation of analytics 860,000 Expected savings, in dollars per year, after appying analytics