How the past might help us when facing rapidly evolving situations.

Today we started a new project where we will try to make use of historical data in order to provide queues for sensemaking in rapidly evolving situations. The whole concept is a result of an in-depth discussion with a senior commanders at the local fire and rescue services. Many organizations have tons of data describing past events/incidents. Many of the really useful information is hidden within poorly exploited free-text fields in a database that was designed for storing data but not for exploring insights.

We are aiming to make use of that data and look for what we call particulars in historical data in order to transform these bits and pieces into specifics. The specifics are small pieces of info that might say something really important in a situation that is currently evolving. We do understand that what we are aiming for here is not new as a concept. But we do believe that the design of this type of systems could be vastly improved in order to better fit a time-critical work practice. Our intention is not to flood a commander with a tsunami of data but to provide a gentle drizzle of info to trigger new ways of exploring complex situation.

We would like to invite and involve anyone of you to work with us on this project. So please let us know how you would like to contribute. We are looking for both industrial, academical and professional responders to become part of this network-based projects.

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