How Data Analytics Help Cut New Orleans’s Murder Rate by 20%

All of us in the data analytics field generally keep abreast of how analytics is transforming the business space. Jigsawites, are encouraged to read all about the latest tools and developments regularly and ensure that their skill set is relevant. In the background somewhere though, we are all also very aware that data analytics is impacting us at a more personal level, but how many of us take the time to stay abreast of these developments?

Well that’s where I can help you. One of the advantages of having a job that involves writing, is that you are forced to read. If I don’t read and keep up-to-date with even seemingly random events and developments in the Data Industry, I would have no food for thought. Thankfully I love reading and so never get fed up of searching for and devouring any form of data content out there. Well this week I came across a really interesting article that talks about an untraditional use of data analytics that has impacted people like you and me, and I am happy to share this with you.

In an article titled New Orleans Cuts Murder Rate Using Data Analytics in, Jason Shueh tells us about New Orleans city’s fight with crime. He says that it is ranked the eighth highest city in terms of number of murders committed nationally and in 2013 had 155 victims. Though this seems high, this number is actually 20 percent less than in 2012, all thanks to The i-Team and Data Analytics. (Below are some excerpts from the article.)

The i-Team, is based on Bloomberg’s innovation model that relies heavily on data for decision-making. In this instance, that data has leveraged crime statistics to identify high risk individuals, criminal social networks and the neighborhoods that foster them.

The team was able to process data of crime and murders that dated back to 1960. They mapped crime trends for 70 neighborhoods onto a digital dashboard along with 30-, 10- and five-year homicide averages, with more granular data for the last three years broken down by police districts. Layered on top of this analysis was mapped statistics of educational attainment, unemployment rates and recidivism — add-ons intended to provide a holistic view.

The most visible use of data came from an endeavor to stop shootings. The pillar focused social programs and law enforcement outreach on the city’s percentage of at-risk young men. Core components included creation of a multi-agency gang unit targeting hot zones, bolstering illegal firearms seizures with manpower, inserting outreach workers in crime zones and hosting multi-department interventions with likely offenders — also called “call-ins” for the Group Violence Reduction Strategy.

Based on criminal records, analytics now routinely uncovers the city’s 800 individuals most likely to commit violent crimes every three months. Of the lot, members of the city’s most notorious gangs are requested to arrive at court as part of the call-in. They’re greeted by Landrieu, law enforcement and social service representatives and appeals are made to curtail violence. They are told that they are under surveillance and that if caught in any acts of violence, will be severely punished.

The end result, 20% reduction in murder. Not bad…Work goes on though and this year they hope to cut it down further. The insights have also prompted them to take on initiatives within high risk areas, to rehabilitate the youth, and receive help from the cities social services.

Want to read the full article? Click here

Interested in a career in Big Data? Check out UNext’s Big Data courses and see how you can get trained to become a Big Data specialist.

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