Detailed analysis: The role of video analytics in enterprise and beyond

Detailed analysis: The role of video analytics in enterprise and beyond

Walter Schroeder, CSE – Big Data Solutions at NetApp A/NZ.

In my previous two posts, I explored NetApp’s newly launched SANtricity 11.25 and the 3rd platform, as well as what’s next in data analytics in enterprise. Now, in the final edition of my three part series, I will be looking into video analytics.

As mentioned in my last post, data is a business’ most treasured asset. But how does this work, when the data is in video form?

Video analytics is the use of data to identify events, patterns and even physical attributes through the analysis of video monitored surrounds. To do this, software screens for trends, patterns, and events through real time analysis combined with previous data. This allows those collecting the data to use insights gained for enhanced decision making.

Video and analytics go hand in hand. Living in the modern age, it is nearly impossible to go anywhere in an urbanised environment without a security camera watching you. And the need for video surveillance is only growing. The 3rd platform processes information much faster than ever before, enabling organisations to access real time video analytics which can help to increase visibility, performance and correct decision making through Big Data.

There are a myriad of different examples of how this can be applied in real life, but the two that immediately spring to mind are security and smart cities. The Australian Police Force are using video not only for surveillance, but are also starting to use wearable technology as part of the uniform. The same technology can be used to reduce incidents at sporting events, or even just to decrease the time you spend in line for pies at the footy, and similar versions are deployed all throughout many entertainment venues providing information on everything from parking availability to the effectiveness of advertising.

Video analytics provides the information for organisations (and individuals) to gain an accurate and deep understanding of behaviour, patterns and events when used effectively. The technology frees up a significant amount of resources, allowing sites to more effectively manage their day to day operations.

Councils and state governments are also using video analytics every day to help manage and solve the problems of day to day life for their citizens. The most obvious example of this is roads. Video analysis allows for real time traffic updates, not only providing to the minute information in case of a traffic accident or slowdown, videos create an up to date picture of how residents use their roads. Video analytics helps creates a clear picture of how people like to use their public spaces. Not just roads, but also parks, city squares and footpaths. This is all used to help local, state and federal governments make the best possible decisions.

Of course, as the amount (and value) of video data grows, it becomes clear that traditional methods of storage, management and analysis have been found wanting. Such large amounts of data is difficult to access and manage, which makes full utilisation limited without necessary support and processes. In organisations today, much of the data captured by video surveillance is never fully utilised, and a large amount is still trawled through manually using up valuable time, resource and slows response times. In addition to this, videos are often required to be stored for long periods of time, which only exacerbates cost and management challenges.

Data analytics companies such as Splunk and MongoDB, specialise at analysing text not videos. So businesses that want to use their data, must first run it through video software. This software can provide analysis in real time, and create metadata. From there, the data is then further accessible.

NetApp’s Data Fabric can help to provide a seamless, integrated solution that not only makes it easy for organisations of all shapes and sizes to access their data, but also to analyse it through a 3rd Platform technology such as Hadoop, Splunk or MongoDB.

Data is a business’ biggest asset, make sure that you can utilise it.