Security and video surveillance systems can tell us a lot about our business – when the highest number of employees come through the front door, which way they go after they enter the building, or how many times each day a specific door is opened.
The good news is that all of this information and much more – from access control and event reports, video surveillance footage, and associated analytics data – can be captured by various edge devices and stored within the system. This wealth of data is ready to be analyzed and turned into actionable intelligence that can help to detect and prevent issues in operations, equipment, or policies.
The bad news is…well, it’s the same. Without a means to make sense of it all, this wealth of data can be overwhelming and unusable.
Retailers, for example, are now able to capture minute-by-minute video of people in their stores — moving through the aisles, standing in front of displays, and making purchases at the register. But all of this can just be more video in the recording system if it isn’t put to use.
A data visualization tool can take the vast pools of information — security’s Big Data, if you will — now at the disposal of security personnel and management and turn it into more comprehensible data such as graphs and charts that correspond to particular video clips or POS data.
Perhaps your goal as a security manager is to determine whether you need additional guard coverage within a medical facility. Even though you have a card-based access control system that tells you who is entering the building and when, you now want to look more closely at which areas of the building they are accessing so you can beef up patrols in the more highly trafficked areas.
By deploying people-counting analytics tied to your video system, you can target specific doors or hallways that are covered by cameras and record video each time someone uses that door or enters a hallway.
Data visualization can then take you to the next step, which is putting all those video clips into usable charts. You can sort the data by day, for instance, creating charts that show you days when the traffic patterns are the heaviest. But you can even drill down further, looking at the time of day when particular doors and hallways are most heavily used and chart that information as well. Once you have the data set you want, you can look at the corresponding videos to see the actual activity.
The result may be that you see the area outside a newly relocated lab is generating a lot of traffic outside of regular business hours. That area may require additional checks by a security officer to monitor the activity.
Retail can definitely benefit from the conversion of information into data visualization. Not only can retailers monitor traffic, just as the security officer did in the previous scenario, but by adding in the POS data, store operators can look at how people movement corresponds with sales.
Using data visualizer technology, it’s possible to create a data set that shows how many people walk by a handbag display, how long they looked at the products, and then how many actually made a purchase. All this is possible just by dragging and dropping the results into the data visualization software — sales from POS, plus those who lingered at the display for more than 10 seconds. Based on the results, it may influence the store owner to add sales staff at certain times of day or maybe relocate a display to a more highly traveled section of the store.
Put simply, data visualization is all about recognizing patterns and trends. Once you’re able to start thinking about all that data in those terms, it is less overwhelming and much more useful. And that really is the good news.
Are you already using Data Visualization software with your security footage? If so, in what ways? If not, any thoughts on how it could benefit your business? Please leave your response in the comments section below.