Siloed data costing police hundreds of working hours each year – research

Written by Sam Trendall on 1 February 2018 in News
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Study finds that a quarter of officers need to access six or more databases in working on a single case

Credit: Steven Straltan

Siloed data is costing police officers hundreds of hours each year that could be devoted to front-line duties, according to research.

A study conducted by PublicTechnology parent company Dods, in partnership with MarkLogic, reveals that more than nine in ten – 91% – of police officers believe that they could save time each day if they were able to access all operational data via one search function, rather than having to use numerous different searches.

This 91% is comprised of 57% who say they could save up to an hour each day, and 34% who believe they could save upwards of an hour. 

The research noted that, if every officer was able to save one hour each working day, this would add up to a total of 28 working days each year. Extrapolated across the cumulative UK total of 150,000 police officers, this would equate to 4.2 million working days annually. 


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If each works 260 days a year, this would add up to an equivalent of more than 16,000 extra officers. 

Currently, in the course of working on a single case, 95% of officers require access to two or more databases or systems, the research finds. A quarter claimed they need to use six or more separate systems. 

Imran Razzaq, public sector lead for UK, Ireland and European Union at MarkLogic, said: “Reliance on data and information has never been more important to modern policing than it is today. The communities police forces serve have become more complex and diverse, demanding a holistic response in the face of threats ranging from safeguarding to cybercrime and terrorism”.

He added: “However, this research highlights that the UK’s police forces are facing the same challenges and frustrations experienced by numerous businesses today, namely that data stored in siloes takes significant time to access and analyse. By adopting solutions to integrate data and provide 360-degree visibility, the impact for police forces is potentially enormous in terms of improved accuracy in clear-up rates, increased operational performance, and faster, more accurate, and earlier intervention.” 


The Digital Frontline is a new report published by Dods and MarkLogic. Click here to register for the full report, and access the findings of the research, which surveyed front-line and senior employees from 34 regional police forces across the UK.

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Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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