DataWalk provides intelligence analysis software, but there are a number of categories of intelligence analysis software such that we sometimes find agencies aren’t sure how to classify and evaluate the different types of products.
Just our opinion, but we’d suggest that the intelligence analysis software landscape can be divided into the following categories:
Data Analysis Platforms are a central, core component in the intelligence analysis software landscape. Data analysis platforms such as DataWalk ideally provide a repository for all relevant data, as well as facilities for analyzing that data via visual querying, link analysis, and geospatial analysis. Though analysts are key users of such systems, it is desired if the system can also be used by other types of users (e.g., detectives, patrol) on various types of devices (e.g., desktop, mobile) for purposes other than analysis (e.g., search, reporting, etc.).
Link analysis software is a key type of intelligence analysis software which enables analysts to easily identify and visualize the “links” or “connections” between people, addresses, transactions, crimes, and anything else.
Cell phone extraction software enables you to extract and examine calls, photos, text messages, and visited websites from a mobile device. The significance of this type of intelligence analysis software has dramatically increased in recent years.
Entity Extraction software automatically detects various “entities” in text content, and classifies them into predefined categories. For example, “New York” will be recognized and will be classified as the name of a city. Entity Extraction software is a key component for extending link analysis capabilities to include content of text documents.
Predictive policing software attempts to identify the highest risk locations where and when crimes might occur, based on historical data and various other considerations. Agencies can use this information to have patrol in the highest risk areas at the highest risk times, to help deter crime. This is an interesting and sometimes controversial component in the intelligence analysis software landscape.
Public records aggregators collect information about individuals and organizations, and make this available for a subscription fee. These services are an important component of the intelligence analysis software landscape, as their data is often used to provide background checks and/or complementary intelligence to enrich available data about individuals in an investigation.
Geospatial analysis software enables you to create and use maps to visualize and analyze the locations of people, incidents, and objects.
Business Intelligence (BI) software is not intelligence analysis software per se, but can provide valuable capabilities for slicing and dicing data, and for creating charts and dashboards. BI software can be particularly useful for crime analysis and reporting, though it can also be useful in intelligence analysis.
Social media access/analysis software has held the promise of being able to access, download, and/or analyze social media accounts. Though demand and interest of agencies is high, this is an area of intelligence analysis software that is increasingly limited by access limitations due to privacy issues and evolving practices of social media companies.
There are many vendors occupying different categories in the intelligence analysis software landscape. Below find our attempt at identifying some of the leading vendors in each category.