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How to avoid information overload with an integrated records management system

Tyler Technologies’ New World RMS provide role-based information that improves agency efficiency, performance tracking and situational awareness


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Sponsored by Tyler Technologies

By Cindy Coleman for PoliceOne BrandFocus

In many public safety agencies, sworn officers, command staff, or evidence clerks in charge of the property room are treated more or less the same by traditional law enforcement records management systems.

An integrated records management system helps officers avoid information overload by surfacing the most relevant data first. (photo/iStock)
An integrated records management system helps officers avoid information overload by surfacing the most relevant data first. (photo/iStock)

Whatever your role, you don’t want to be hindered by complicated software that has more fields of data than you’ll ever need. By leveraging the latest technologies with a user-friendly interface, Tyler Technologies re-engineered its records management systems to deliver the right information at the right time, filtering out extraneous data, so every user including officers in the field can focus on the job at hand.

 “Software isn't their primary job,” said Rick Schultz, director of product development for Tyler Technologies. “Their job is to be first responders and make the community safer.”

The need for role- and agency-specific information

Tyler Technologies’ New World public safety suite aims to help law enforcement personnel access and manage data without the dreaded overload. Classically, records management systems mimicked old file systems. Think of file cabinets containing paper folders organized in a certain way containing mounds of paperwork, or computerized databases of information organized in folders, also containing vast amounts of information. But without some way to tie the information altogether, valuable time is spent rummaging through large amounts of paperwork or searching computer screens for specific information, for a specific role on a specific case.

For example, a records clerk in search of a citation opens a file cabinet and pulls out a person’s file that has all of his or her criminal history on paper and must manually read and flip through multiple pages to find the right item. This can be frustrating and time-consuming.

It can be the same on a computer. When doing a search, information comes up on the screen, but the system doesn’t provide enough context for the information relative to a person’s specific role.

“If I'm a detective supervisor, patrol officer or a records clerk, the computer search brings up generic information on a case, too much information that you don’t need,” said Schultz. “Then you have to interpret it and sort through the information to find what’s relevant to your specific job.”

Tailored searches for improved navigation

The ability to tailor information for each user is being fueled not only by law enforcement’s need for role- and agency-specific information, but by expectations influenced by the consumer sector. As more officers work remotely, and use tablets and mobile phones to access information, they expect an RMS to provide and sort information like Google, Amazon and Facebook.

“We are seeing a blending of consumer concepts and consumer devices with workflow expectations,” said Schultz. “For example, when we show them functionality that is like a Google-style search, it is easy to use and something they already know how to do because they do it at home.”

With New World, Tyler Technologies has created an RMS platform that is browser-based and satisfies the need for consuming and leveraging information quickly, while allowing users to focus on doing their jobs. New World is highly configurable to support agency data needs so that law enforcement officers see only what is important and relevant.

For example, in a multi-jurisdictional setting of a county and multiple cities, the county might be dispatching for the county plus a number of the cities. Each of those agencies using the New World RMS would have the ability to add fields only for their agency or to adjust the visualization of the information to meet their agency's specific needs.

Individual dashboard view provides queues, tracks performance

New World provides real-time information on user-based dashboards – another role-specific feature to help organize information in customizable and user-friendly ways. Command staff, record supervisors and detectives can manage their own information in an individual dashboard that provides everything from high-level statistics to incident-based mapping. Charting provides key performance indicators to track different metrics month-to-month, presenting information that is specific to that position and actionable by that individual.

Work queues may be set up on the same dashboard to help ensure that important tasks are not missed.

“Depending on the roles, if I'm a property room tech or if I'm someone processing field reports, I have work queues that tell me these are things I have to do today,” said Schultz. “When I log in, the system says this is what I should be doing first, according to my specific role.”

Increased efficiency, responsiveness and safety

From the detective working a case to the records clerk searching for evidence, law enforcement professionals all need information to solve crimes, protect citizens and run more efficient departments. With the New World Public Safety suite from Tyler Technologies, each individual in a department can access and manage the specific data needed to fulfill his or her part of the investigation without wasting time wading through information overload.  A more efficient RMS means that detectives and other officers have more information at their disposal – both from within their agency and across agencies – that could move investigations forward faster to better serve their communities.

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