Three Ways Technology Lets Us Down
By Jennifer Kraxner
There Has To Be a Better Way
If these are words you tell yourself on a daily basis, then we were cut from the same cloth. I’m constantly let down by things that are harder than they should be:
- Connecting my laptop to the hotel’s wifi.
- Entering my information half a dozen times (on as many forms) for a single doctor’s visit.
- Digging through the company policy binder to find the right steps for submitting an expense report.
- The drive home in Denver traffic… at 8 pm… on a Sunday.
Tech To The Rescue!
Technology should help this, right? Like the traffic layer in Google maps to show me the best route or an intuitive expense tracking system that makes it impossible to mess up. Unfortunately, all too often “helpful” technology just fuels the fire. This ultimately results in the same statement — there has to be a better way.
The Struggle Is Real
I’ve spent the last five years consulting in the public safety, intelligence and cybersecurity spaces. During that time, I’ve observed common pain points and struggles. Most notably with managing records and investigations.
Many of these challenges can, in fact, be improved with technology. These improvements are measurable and real, but so are the new struggles caused by those technologies. Here are three very common challenges.
1. Redundant Data Entry For “Better” Reporting
It’s all about the numbers — how many vehicle break-ins occurred last month and where? How many incidents responses last week? And how do I easily report this information to my leadership?
Reporting systems support tracking of important data and trends. These reports are often required to meet regulatory or compliance requirements and are always used by leadership to make important decisions. Many reporting solutions promise stunning dashboards, custom reports and an array of export formats.
Unfortunately, the road to this analytics paradise requires a boatload of data entry, usually duplicated from data already entered on another report, in another system or, worse yet, on a paper form. To add insult to injury, this monotonous, manual data entry is subject to human error (aka, fat-fingering) that sometimes results in inaccurate reporting anyway!
2. Haystacks Of Documents With No Way To Find The Needle
Records management systems (also known as RMS or document management systems) provide a great way to eliminate the piles of paper. They can simplify tracking down a file — at least when you know the case number, which you likely have to look up in another system.
But what if you don’t have the case number? What if all you remember is there was a guy named Leland you interviewed downtown last April… or was it March? At this point, your RMS is just digital stacks of unstructured data that can take hours (or days!) to sort through and still not find what you’re looking for.
Additionally, to be useful in an analytical or investigative capacity, a system that files documents must also provide some value in finding connections among the data within the documents. Not only should the contents be clearly organized and easily searched, but the system should illustrate connections among the data. Otherwise, all you’re left with is another step in the filing process and more duplicate data entry to define connections.
3. The “One-Stop-Shop” That Overwhelms Instead Of Simplifies
How wonderful it would be to find that one piece of software that does it all! Many applications advertise being a one-stop-shop where you can find the solution to all of your organization’s challenges. Certainly many of these solutions offer the promised functionality, but what lets us down is how difficult they are to manage from implementation to maintenance.
Behemoth applications that promise to meet all your needs generally come with highly complex and expensive configurations that take months or years to plan and implement. Likewise, once implemented, the end-user training and support becomes a never-ending project.
All of this, along with burdensome administration and maintenance, leaves us feeling let down by the silver bullet solution we thought we found.
So What Do We Do?
Certainly we’re not going to give up on technology just because it might replace one problem with another. But we can (and should!) focus on the ‘better way’… after all, there must be one, right?
The Kaseware Approach
Don’t Make Me Repeat Myself
At Kaseware we have two main tenants. Firstly, we never want to enter the same detail more than once. And secondly, to make it intuitive to enter the right data the first time. We eliminate redundant data entry by carrying all the details throughout the entire investigation. From the very first call for service or suspicious activity report, to managing evidence, and all the way to the final resolution and records dissemination.
Find The Needle and Connect The Dots
Kaseware isn’t just an RMS or CAD system. It’s a complete investigations management and analytics platform. We’re not here to simply store a bunch of forms and documents. Instead, Kaseware organizes information, makes it easily consumable, and even indexes every little detail so you can quickly find that guy named Leland.
Kaseware provides the ability to visually connect key data points, such as people, locations, and evidence. (See image on right for an example of our link analysis graph.) Users can not only turn chaotic data into a clear picture, but most importantly, they can easily present those graphics to any stakeholder.
Empower and Enable
Everyone on the Kaseware team has likely described it as a “one-stop-shop” at one point or another. The difference between Kaseware and the behemoth applications I discussed earlier is that Kaseware was built by those who have done the job to support those doing the job.
Kaseware was built to be intuitive for end-users. Furthermore, system configuration and implementation takes days, not months, and the administration module makes it a snap for admin users to make updates. To top it off, the Kaseware Customer Success Team gets rave reviews on a regular basis for providing outstanding training and customer support.
There Is A Better Way
The desire to find a better way, a better technology, a better system drives many tech startups. The Kaseware team is no exception. Our ability to relieve the frustrations for public safety and security teams allows more focus on their mission — protecting and saving lives. This is what drives me and the entire Kaseware team every single day.
Jennifer Kraxner is the Director of Sales Operations at Kaseware. She is a former federal agent with over 15 years of experience supporting both government and commercial organizations in investigations, software development, system implementation, and cybersecurity consulting.