Devon & Cornwall Police improves demand modelling using BI

Devon & Cornwall Police has revealed how using business intelligence (BI) software has helped it save time producing HR reports, as well as making sure that officers are located where they are needed the most.

The police force has been using the QlikView software from QlikTech since 2008, which allowed the organisation to bring together data from 15 sources into one place and cut the time taken to produce reports based on the data.

"We were spending so long producing reports. We gave QlikView some raw datasets [and it made it] all nicely joined up and easy to navigate," said Richard Bullock, performance analysis manager at Devon & Cornwall Police.

Prior to this, the force mainly used Microsoft Excel to produce its reports, or pre-set business intelligence tools available in software it already owned, such as IBM's Cognos or SAP BusinessObjects. Bullock said that the former approach was very user-intensive, with huge potential for making errors.

Using QlikView, Devon & Cornwall Police has written more than 50 applications to create different reports based on its data.

In HR, this has helped the force save more than 100 hours in reporting time over the last three years.

"That's one of many, many reports. We've saved a significant amount of time in terms of producing information," Bullock said.

At the moment, the police force is using QlikView for past performance reporting, measuring metrics such as levels of crime, incidents and victim satisfaction. It is planning to expand this by looking ahead more, in "demand modelling", to predict the resource demand based on different scenarios.

The software allows the organisation to analyse data more quickly and therefore model scenarios faster as well.

Meanwhile, Devon & Cornwall Police uses the tool to monitor HR data such as how many staff it has, their locations, their roles and their skills.

With this data, it can then plan for when employees retire, and find among its existing workforce the relevant skills to replace them, or recruit to fill the roles if they do not.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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