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UK fraud agency deploys ArcGIS dashboard for data sharing

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau says it has achieved improved transparency with the public, as well as saving 3,500 staff hours and £100,000

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has made a great leap forward in transparency, as well as saving more than 3,500 staff hours and around £100,000 in the 10 months since it deployed a data-sharing dashboard developed by Esri UK on its ArcGIS platform.

The dashboard has enabled it to share up-to-date fraud and cyber crime statistics derived from intelligence gathered from its Action Fraud reporting portal with both the general public, and every one of the UK’s 43 regional police forces.

The organisation said that in making Action Fraud data available to the general public for the first time, it was delivering time savings for its analysts by removing the need for them to answer the information requests the NFIB receives from government departments, the press, academia, and so on.

It has also freed up individual analysts from having to write 86 reports twice a year for each UK police force, which involved sifting through the almost 400,000 lines of data that the NFIB receives in an average year – which in the past was often out-of-date and therefore no longer of much use.

The NFIB now uploads data over a period of two to three days every month, providing close to live statistics, available 24/7, that can be interrogated interactively for each individual force. The dashboard also shows crime statistics over the past 13 months, so that current trends can be compared to the picture a year ago.

“The dashboard delivers timely and actionable information for each police force to understand fraud and cyber crime reporting in their jurisdictions, and simultaneously frees up our intelligence analysts to focus on proactive intelligence work tackling criminal activity,” said an NFIB spokesperson.

“We are continuing to innovate and our future aims for the Dashboard include adding more granular filters to provide more insightful and actionable information using ArcGIS,” they added.

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As the NFIB’s host organisation, the City of London Police, was already an ArcGIS user – the NFIB was able to work closely with the Aylesbury-based firm to develop the bespoke service. ArcGIS is billed as a “geospatial framework for gathering, managing and analysing data” that organised layers of information into visualisations that reveal patterns, relationships and situations.

This better equips its users to solve complex problems and make better-informed decisions using their data. “We are delighted by the range of tangible benefits the ArcGIS Dashboard has delivered to the NFIB and its many stakeholders,” said Chris Gardiner, Esri UK customer success manager for public safety.

“It took just two weeks to develop working in partnership with NFIB, and so to have saved 3,500 staff hours so far is a fantastic result and demonstrates that strong partnerships and simple, yet effective, ArcGIS solutions can transform business processes.”

Those interested in viewing the NFIB’s data for themselves can access the public-facing dashboard online at this URL. Members of the public can report fraud incidents to Action Fraud here, and with fraud volumes notably higher during the Covid-19 pandemic, are encouraged to do so.

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