There is no debate that Public Safety and/or National Security (PS&NS) was, is, and always will be of paramount importance for any nation, and it requires a lot of coordination and intelligence driven action from agencies and people. There were times when collecting this kind of information and then collaborating to ensure proper intelligence is available to people who can effectively use it, required efforts beyond imagination.
With updates in technologies, systems, and better solutions, the task of collecting such information and data has become relatively easy. Consequently, there is an abundance of data being gathered and stored in different locations. Latest technologies, especially in Business Intelligence and analytics, ensure the ability to make sense of this data abundance and make more informed decisions.
While all this information is available in pockets, the ability to scale these efforts and intelligence based decision making to a more global scale is dependent on proper collaboration efforts between systems that collect and store such information. Having a system/platform that enables this is the key to successfully predict and thwart disasters, incidents, as well as perform proper rescue operations, among others. Some examples include 9/11, connect different incidents at a local agency to solve problems more effectively, connect incidents and suspicious activities reported at various local agencies to predict macro analytics and potential threats, oil spills reported by sensors and IOT devices, etc.
The idea is not only to include reports and appropriate BI/analytics tools, but also to enable geo spatial analytics for more effective decision making, predictive analysis, and post mortems.
To address these challenges and concerns, Microsoft, together with partners like iLink and Esri, has come up with a fusion core solution that can be implemented across fusion centers to help Fusion and Intelligence analysis centers identify, prevent and deter threats posed by terrorists, drug cartels, organized crime groups, and enable government agencies to prepare for and combat these threats. Fusion center is an information sharing center designed to promote information sharing at the federal level between agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. military, and state- and local-level governments. They serve as local and regional hubs for collecting, managing, and analyzing massive amounts of law enforcement data, with the responsibility for transforming that information into actionable intelligence. Microsoft Fusion core solution is a simple-to-use, easily configurable tool, uniquely designed to help Fusion centers gather, process, analyze and disseminate information regarding law enforcement, homeland security and terrorism across the country in a timely and secured manner. It helps agencies and governing bodies to streamline the management and analysis of critical public safety data, and allow Analysts and other personas to effectively perform trends analysis and self-service business intelligence. The framework is developed using latest Microsoft technologies including SharePoint 2013/2010, SQL Server 2012, Azure and Bing Maps etc. Data sharing can be easily achieved as the solution adheres to interoperable data standards for interfaces, such as NIEM models. With solutions like Fusion Core, government agencies can seamlessly move information from intake to analysis to dissemination in a multiple-agency, multilevel environment, while using existing assets and integrating with domain-specific applications. This gives agencies the ability to take proactive action to prepare for and respond to crises and to counter potential threats and criminal activities.
Solutions like FCS set a prime example towards how governing agencies can better collaborate to be more effective and efficient, and better empowering our Public Safety and National Security agencies help make the communities and borders we live in, safer places for citizens.