The Rise of Data Mining in Security and What It Means for the Future

The possibilities for new or expanded opportunities are just about limitless, putting a whole new spin on “data security” … and not that far down the road maybe how you describe your business.

The Rise of Data Mining in Security and What It Means for the Future

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What business are you in? I am betting you said, “Security,” or perhaps “Alarms,” or maybe even “Systems integration.” And those heavily focused on monitoring or other services may say, “Recurring revenue.” Those are all well and good and make perfect sense today.

But due to advancing technology and evolving customer needs/interests, significant changes have come to this industry the past couple of decades that prompted reevaluating purpose and description (e.g. National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association to Electronic Security Association and Central Station Alarm Association to The Monitoring Association). It’s a transformation that continues to unfold.

“The industry is just beginning to realize that data is our new currency,” says ADT Executive Vice President and COO Don Young. “It is being used to make customers more secure and more effective in whatever they desire to accomplish. Today’s technology allows us to deliver customers a more robust experience than ever before. The key is providing a reliable, secure solution that gives them the security and convenience they want and need. Secure, convenient, private, it’s all essential.”

Young, a member of SSI’s Industry Hall of Fame (recognized for his operations innovation through analyzing metrics), made those remarks as a primary presenter during last month’s Parks Associates’ CONNECTIONS virtual conference.

The event was hosted by Parks Associates President Elizabeth Parks, who I have had the pleasure of collaborating with since 1998, the year both of us joined the electronic security and low-voltage industries. For nearly a decade, I have worked with her and her mother, company Founder (1987) & CEO Tricia Parks, on SSI’s annual residential security market study (coming next month).

One of the compelling examples Young, who is also TMA’s acting president, offered on how data mining can enhance both effectiveness and efficiency relates to the age-old false alarm quandary.

“We are developing a process of analyzing myriad datapoints so, when an intrusion alarm is activated, we can factor in all that information to then determine the best response,” he says. “This is different from verification in that it no longer is an all or nothing proposition. We are changing the dynamic on how to qualify an alarm.”

Given its partnership with Google, and as connected Internet of Things devices rapidly proliferate, ADT figures to propel the industry forward in this realm. “We are looking to extend reliable services and solutions to consumers outside the home, on their person, in their vehicle,” adds Young.

The possibilities for new or expanded opportunities are just about limitless, putting a whole new spin on “data security” … and not that far down the road maybe how you describe your business.

CONNECTIONS also featured a six-person panel that included representatives from Brinks Home, Rapid Response, Johnson Controls and RSPNDR. The crux of their discussion was, in the vernacular of a popular business and marketing catchphrase, “meet customers where they are.”

Having grown up in the shadow of Hollywood, that brought to mind, Where the boys are, someone waits for me, a lyric sung by Connie Francis that, like its associated movie, was a hit in the early 1960s.

According to Wikipedia, “Where the Boys Are” was one of the first films to explore the changing sexual morals and attitudes among American college youth. It symbolized a cultural shift, which also influenced providers of products and services across the board.

Sixty years later, electronic security is among many industries being impacted by another cultural shift. Driven principally by younger adults weaned on Internet — and smartphone-enabled instant gratification — but also permeating all rungs of modern American society — in today’s everything on-demand world customers and consumers seek sexier technology, lifestyle enhancement and convenience.

And oh, by the way, the expectation (imperative from a security industry standpoint) is all that be delivered without compromising physical security, safety, cybersecurity or privacy.

The implications of this shift for our industry are enormous throughout the channel, affecting how solutions are designed and marketed as well as how services are developed and delivered. New challenges abound but the opportunity is undeniably sound, and the potential payoff is boundless.

As a security dealer or integrator, take stock to ensure your business’ culture, processes and offerings are where today’s customers are … for it’s there that success awaits.

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About the Author


Scott Goldfine is Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Security Sales & Integration. Well-versed in the technical and business aspects of electronic security (video surveillance, access control, systems integration, intrusion detection, fire/life safety), Goldfine is nationally recognized as an industry expert and speaker. Goldfine is involved in several security events and organizations, including the Electronic Security Association (ESA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), ASIS Int'l and more. Goldfine also serves on several boards, including the SIA Marketing Committee, CSAA Marketing and Communications Committee, PSA Cybersecurity Advisory Council and Robolliance. He is a certified alarm technician, former cable-TV tech, audio company entrepreneur, and lifelong electronics and computers enthusiast. Goldfine joined Security Sales & Integration in 1998.

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