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5 Best Practices to Manage the Flood of Surveillance Data

To effectively manage surveillance networks and all of the various data sources, be sure to follow these five best practices:

1. Don’t operate in a vacuum — A video surveillance network should not operate as an island. Seamless integration with other security systems investments (video analytics, sensors and intrusion detection systems, etc.), both within an organization as well as with other organizations, is key to the overall effectiveness of a security effort.

A video surveillance network should be able to interoperate with existing technologies and new deployments alike through open standards, so be sure to take this into consideration when evaluating technology options to buy and deploy. 

2. Go hybrid — Advancements in digital technology are now dictating an update to the existing infrastructure to take advantage of new capabilities of digital cameras, DVRs, sensors and surveillance technologies. To successfully manage the information coming from all of the different sources, both analog and digital technologies must be able to work together and communicate with each other. This enables operations center personnel to access all of the data from various systems, including both existing legacy and newer digital technologies, in a single management platform without the need to toggle between disparate applications. 

The digital migration has begun, but this will only happen over time and as budget permits. The time estimates for migration from analog to all-digital systems ranges from five to 10 years depending on the level of involvement, scale and other factors. 

3. Future-proof your surveillance network — Don’t get stuck implementing proprietary technologies from vendors that won’t work with your other technology investments and don’t have a clear roadmap for doing so in the future. The value of technologies increases exponentially when interconnected with others, so balance the novelty of a new feature with the ability of it to provide value. 

4. Correlate for success — A single car in a parking lot late at night may not be cause for concern, nor a rattling door handle. But combined with a motion detector alarm in a transformer room that is typically only accessed by maintenance personnel midday is cause for action. Today’s surveillance systems produce countless logs of actions and activities that in and of themselves are innocuous, but when taken together spell cause for concern and should elicit a more certain response. 

Correlating information from all data sources coming into the operations center is crucial as it enables personnel to focus exclusively on preventing, detecting, deterring and responding to a situation. 

5. Leverage advances in communications technology — Advances and deployments in technology during the past 10 years have produced the ability to instantaneously connect with anyone, anywhere, anytime. Leverage the appropriate tools — including integration with cell phones, radios, video conferencing, chat and desktop sharing — to communicate critical intelligence and data at the moment it is needed most. 

Taking these factors into consideration can make a significant impact on the efficiency of an operations center and your security or surveillance organization. Ideally, the management of an entire surveillance network can be handled without employees needing to understand the underlying technology, enabling them to respond swiftly to critical situations, which is what they are trained to do. And, by more effectively managing the data from a multitude of surveillance cameras, operations center personnel, and the public they are tasked to protect, benefit from the true collaborative situational awareness that results.