State taps BI software to share criminal info, link other agencies

Maryland is improving interagency collaboration through a shared-services business intelligence platform.

The state's Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, working with the Governor's Office of Crime Control & Prevention, developed the Law Enforcement Dashboard, which gives public safety agencies access to real-time criminal justice data.

DPSCS, which operates 27 correctional facilities and 45 parole and probation supervision offices, needed a way to integrate systems containing information for its Division of Corrections, Division of Parole, State Police Gun Registry and Sex Offender Registry so the agencies could get a single view of criminal background data, state officials said. 

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DPSCS deployed Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition and Oracle Service-Oriented Architecture to get that single view. Currently, officials from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies can use the law enforcement dashboard, a centralized, Web-based application, which draws from more than 100 data sources across 22 agencies.

For example, with one search, they can instantly see an offender’s criminal history, photographs, open warrants, gun permits, motor vehicle status and more.

"Before the Law Enforcement Dashboard, individual users had separate usernames and passwords per database, putting the burden on the user to seek out relevant data,” said Kristen Mahoney, executive director of the State Governor's Office of Crime Control & Prevention. Information is now more accessible, and the department has implemented the infrastructure for information sharing, Mahoney added.

To improve interagency collaboration, DPSCS deployed Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition in a shared-services environment for other government agencies, including the Maryland State Department of Education, which aims to improve public education, library services and rehabilitation services.

Through an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act "Race to the Top" program grant, MSDE is developing and implementing a statewide data system to manage and analyze individual student data using the business intelligence solution.

"With a shared-services environment, we are able to collaborate with other government agencies, ultimately helping us reinvest in the state of Maryland's technology infrastructure,” said Rob London, PK12/P20 director of Solutions Architecture for the Education Department.

In conjunction with the business intelligence environment, MSDE is using Oracle Database 11g, Oracle Real Application Clusters, Oracle Identity Management, Oracle WebLogic, Oracle BPEL Process Manager, Oracle Spatial, Oracle WebCenter Suite and Oracle Portal.

MSDE has completed the first year of a three-year project designed to deliver 35 Web-based, personalized dashboards for 66,000 teachers, 6,000 administrators and 800,000 students and their parents.

Dashboards will help MSDE move beyond static, paper-based or PDF reports to enable teachers, principals, parents and other education stakeholders fully engage in their own data analysis and make more informed decisions about everything from student skill assessments to resource planning, Maryland officials said.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.


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