Surveillance department lessons you can learn from facebook

If one of the key responsibilities of your surveillance department is to monitor events taking place, then you need to make sure you break the habit of drawing circles around individual events and dismissing them as isolated occurrences. They are steps that lead somewhere because life is connected. Facebook is valued at billions of dollars because founder, Mark Zuckerberg, tapped into the fact that life is connected and we need smart software to help us manage this connectedness. For surveillance departments, an electronic occurrence book is a good starting point to effectively manage the numerous events taking place in a casino. However, many are moving onto facebook type electronic occurrence books that harness the multi-tasking power of smart software and the ability to integrate into other systems. Enter the world of “surveillancebook” and “dataveillance”!

Our recent integration work with IGT and other casino software and hardware providers has been quite alarming. Given enough raw data, today’s algorithms and powerful computers can reveal new insights that would previously have remained hidden. Joe Hellerstein, a computer scientist at the University of California in Berkeley, calls it “the industrial revolution of data”. However, Alex Szalay, an astrophysicist at Johns Hopkins University, notes that the proliferation of data is making it increasingly inaccessible. He also notes that we should not only be concerned about how to make sense of all this data but how we train the next generation.

We’ve spent the first part of this year training many of our users so that they’re prepared for our next version of Cheeteye, codenamed “surveillancebook”. The simple advice from Mr Szalay is helping our users do more with what they already have and it’s been an important reminder to us as software developers – don’t forget the training! As Elizabeth II said, “It’s all to do with the training: you can do a lot if you’re properly trained.” If you’ve ever read a technical book on facebook, you’ll be amazed at what you can do with it.

Surveillance lessons from facebook:

  • smart software can reveal new insights
  • you can do a lot more with what you have if you’re properly trained
  • innovation is extremely valuable

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