Reaping New Efficiencies With Analytics

As organizations install more and more security cameras, how can all that video data be better utilized? Learn how video analytics is being leveraged across a range of markets to increase security, improve public safety, reduce shrink and power business intelligence applications.

Physical security integrators know all too well the challenges posed by massive amounts of video data generated by surveillance systems. Without an efficient means of analyzing this data — 90 percent of which is unstructured content — end users are burdened with some serious problems.

First, it becomes a nearly impossible task for security monitoring personnel to notice all the relevant or potentially threatening activity. In addition, when post-event investigation is required reviewing pertinent data may take hours, days or even months, making it an extremely time consuming and imprecise task. And with the growing use of video surveillance for nonsecurity-related business intelligence applications, customers are demanding smarter video that can provide critical information before dangerous and costly situations occur.

Hence, without the ability to dissect video data with reports, charts and graphs, it is difficult for end users to make better security and business decisions. Thanks to video analytics solutions, systems integrators are increasingly better equipped to provide newfound operational efficiencies for their end-user customers.

A Migration Path to Intelligent Video
While many installing security contractors are involved in the current transition from analog to IP-based systems, they should also be informing their customers about solutions that go beyond basic networked capabilities. Integrators can retain customers throughout their technology migration path by providing a lifecycle video software solution, all the while capturing upsell opportunities as a trusted advisor.

While the immediate need may be to transition customers from analog to an IP video surveillance infrastructure, down the road these same customers may require more sophisticated capabilities. These include a virtual fence or object-left-behind analytics with a future option for business intelligence applications.

Such factors have led to intelligent video surveillance and management — a.k.a., video analytics. Video analytics provide the tools to change the way organizations capture and use video. Consider the following benefits to customers:

Real-time alerting — Video analytics direct the attention of monitoring personnel to relevant activity in real-time. This means events are responded to quickly and efficiently, providing significantly improved safety and security.

Video search — Users can pinpoint specific events in mere seconds. With video analytics you can select specific search parameters such as time, activity, and location, and review only the video that meets particular requirements.

Reporting — Utilizing video analytics, users are able to dissect video data with reports, charts and graphs, providing an invaluable tool for making better business decisions.

Lower labor costs — With features like real-time alerting and intelligent search, labor costs of monitoring personnel are significantly reduced, providing a significant return on investment (ROI).

Optimized operations — With the wealth of information provided in reports, organizations are able to use video to better plan staffing requirements, increase revenues, or improve customer satisfaction. All of these contribute positively to a stronger bottom line.

Standalone Vs. Integration
When evaluating video analytics, systems integrators may notice that most software products are standalone and require integration with a third-party video management software (VMS) product to be of any use in real-time. This integration exercise can be costly, both in terms of actual integration development work to ensure the products work together, as well as licensing and hardware. Often much of the intelligent information the analytics can provide is reduced to an alarm within the VMS interface.

As a response, many video surveillance software vendors are beginning to offer products that combine video analytics and VMS into a single solution. This software platform allows users to not only leverage their existing analog cameras when transitioning to an IP surveillance system, but also easily upgrade the video management functionality with intelligent video analytics, all within the same product.

Video analytics provide the tools to change the way organizations capture and use video. Embedded video analytics software will ignore irrelevant activity, such as wind or snow, which can typically result in false alarms. The software is able to recognize only significant pixel changes in the environment, and will only provide alerts and initiate recording when relevant activity occurs. Thus, only valid alarms are being transmitted, which means those events can be responded to quickly and efficiently. And because only significant data is being recorded, there is a substantial reduction in recorded video storage.

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