January 3, 2017

Visualization Startup Targets First Responders

George Leopold


A startup has developed a visual data analytics platform based on technology developed at Purdue University that focuses on delivering real-time information for first responders.

Davista Technologies is targeting law enforcement, public safety and health care sectors that are increasingly inundated with text, audio and visual data. “What we have developed provides concise, relevant information to help first responders make faster decisions in a critical situation when every second matters,” the Purdue spinoff noted in a statement.

The startup, based on the Purdue campus in West Lafayette, Ind., notes that data sets that overwhelmingly deal with space and time are parsed separately on most analytics platforms. Davista claims to improve forecasting—and with it, more efficient allocation of resources—by combining these data.

Davista licensed its data visualization technology from Purdue University, leveraging software used to integrate large amounts of intelligence information with a range of visualization elements. The goal is to make better use of large data sets from a growing number of sources and formats.

Each time a 911 call comes in, for example, a record of the call is created and the data is categorized. The visualization platform tracks these records to help law enforcement agencies get a handle on crime trends and how and where to deploy resources. Along with a dashboard containing local maps and time visualizations, the platform includes and analytics search engine used to ingest data from different sources. That data is combined with predictive techniques to provide situational awareness and what the startup calls “risk based decision making.”

While the original visualization research was based on public safety and security applications, Purdue and Davista noted that researchers also have worked with hospital emergency rooms along with health insurance providers. That collaboration has spawned other generic products that could be used by a range of industries seeking to make sense of large data streams.

Hence, the startup said it is looking to expand to markets beyond homeland security and is hiring while seeking new investors.

Thus far, the startup has launched interactive business intelligence and reporting tools, a suite of multivariate visual analytics products incorporating correlative and predictive techniques for situational awareness. It also has developed a social media analytics and visualization platform that can be used in situations where threat warnings via Twitter can be extracted from a stream of tweets at, for example, a football game.

The social media platform includes interactive topic extraction along with techniques such as media stream categorization.

The company emerged from a U.S. Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence. The first responder data visualization platform was developed over the last seven years, the university said. The startup said it has worked extensively with police departments and other first responders to identify their requirements, obtain feedback and test its system in the field.

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