iCERT Launches "Data Integration Initiative" for Public Safety Technology Systems

Updated: Aug 17

Overcoming silos and creating seamless communications across platforms will yield both immediate and long-term benefits for the public, first responders, and iCERT members

August 8, 2020


Concerted discussion by the Data Integration Working Group (DIWG) has revealed four subject areas for iCERT members/participant concentration:

1) Data Value,

2) Existing Data Integration,

3) Data Integration Enablers, and Roadblocks, and

4) Future Data Integration. iCERT Members are dividing their participation along experience, company-centric, and general interests in joining one or more sub-groups to move each area to a productive outcome. The sub-group descriptions follow:


1) Data Value – identifying which data integrations provide the most value in terms of improving public safety response. What assigns a “value” (what defines “value” is one of the tasks of this group) to each piece of data in any particular system or sub-system, and its associated dataflows and workflows? What outputs a high-value outcome for a particular set of data and specific data integrations and associated workflows? Identifying which data, when “married together” produces the most value in terms of efficiencies. How can such a concept be used to help all stakeholders (product management, vendors, developers, end-users and citizens) choose which integrations provide the biggest "bang for the buck"?


2) Existing Data Integration – what integrations exist today? What are successful examples of data integration (systems, processes, or governance)? What is motivating their development? How do we apply our “formula” to help identify the most valuable solutions? Simply Identify Roles and their associated Dataflows and workflows for incident lifecycle management (Pre-incident, mid-incident, and post-incident). There are potentially thousands of dataflows that can be identified, along with relay points and other items that can be identified as places to streamline the workflow.


3) Data Integration Enablers and Roadblocks – what are the roadblocks that keep the existing data integration from creating the real “value” that data integration can produce? What are the enablers that have provided some level of success and improved public safety response? This sub-group will focus on what can be done to reduce the effects of roadblocks and enhance the effects of enablers. This can include governance, funding models, technology, operational processes, or anything that is keeping data integration from being as innovative and broadly implemented as possible.


4) Future Data Integration – answering questions about what new integrations will be expected as technology advances? How does the IoT figure into Public Safety Data Integration for future systems? How does A.I. affect which data is important? How do we bridge the gap between data integrations of today with data integration of the future?


The sub-groups are selecting leadership and establishing self-directed meeting schedules with goals of producing tangible results in early 2021.



July 10, 2020


Kickoff Meeting - Over 20 iCERT Members were represented at the initial meeting of the Data Integration Working Group (DIWG) formed by iCERT. "Great response and enthusiasm for this endeavor," noted Ellen O'Hare, iCERT Chair, "Everyone recognizes the significance of this work for our members and more importantly, for public safety," she added. Working Group Members will initially meet bi-weekly until project groups are formed, and then the groups will each set up their own schedules under the general oversight and coordination of the larger DIWG.


June 22, 2020


Detailed below is the announcement of iCERT’s new Data Integration Initiative – our signature project for 2020 and beyond. Speaking for the Executive Committee and the Board, we are hoping that as we progress every iCERT member will find a way to become involved and contribute to this significant new initiative.

We are looking for a Co-Chair and 10-12 Working Group members to develop the initial recommendations for assignment to the Policy Committee and the Innovation & Technology Committee for their consideration and action. Please consider how you could both contribute to and benefit from participation in this new Working Group.


To apply to participate in this cutting-edge initiative addressing the ongoing needs and future of data integration for use by the public safety community, contact Kim Robert Scovillat executivedirector@theindustrycouncil.org.

We look forward to the conversation. Thank you – stay safe.

Best regards,

Ellen O'Hara Kim Robert Scovill

iCERT Chair Executive Director - iCERT

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MEMBERS – CALL TO ACTION: New Data Integration Initiative

From: Ellen O’Hara, Chair – iCERT June 22, 2020

iCERT Announces Data Integration Initiative to Improve Future Public Safety Communications

iCERT, is the leading trade association exclusively championing technology interests serving the public safety community, and we’re announcing today the formation of a comprehensive initiative to promote effective integration and use of data in public safety operations. The project will address new and more effective ways to perform mission critical operations as significant amounts of data from an increasing number of source points are generated and delivered to public safety communications centers. The initiative will produce a strategic plan with recommendations related to core areas impacting the future of public safety data such as technology, analysis, management, security and privacy, and funding.

We’re seeking volunteers from iCERT Members to contribute and shape this important ongoing and emerging function impacting public safety. To apply to participate in this cutting-edge initiative addressing the ongoing needs and future of data integration for use by the public safety community, contact Kim Robert Scovill at executivedirector@theindustrycouncil.org.

Background: Whether the focus is on “NG911”, “public safety broadband or narrowband”, “CAD interoperability” or “IP infrastructure”, the seamless communication and unification of all aspects of the public safety data systems remains a continuing challenge and a significant opportunity, for our industry. With the combined effort of iCERT members and industry resources, iCERT’s Data Integration Initiative intends to: 1) build on previous academic and government analysis; 2) pinpoint areas overdue for action and closure; and 3) make specific recommendations with action plans and timelines to advance the introduction and delivery of public safety technologies to public safety operations.

Purpose: iCERT’s Board has approved establishing a comprehensive Member-driven initiative to promote the effective integration and use of data in public safety operations including through existing and emerging 911 systems, communications networks used by first responders, ECC operations, and various other public safety systems.

Objectives: The Data Integration Initiative will accomplish three interrelated objectives for iCERT and its Members: 1) it will identify issues preventing innovation in the area of Data Integration that will help to drive innovative new solutions and new revenue opportunities for iCERT Members; 2) it will help to address the operational challenges that have limited the broader implementation of data-centric public safety solutions; and 3) it will continue iCERT’s reputation as an industry leader, increase brand awareness, and help grow membership.

Program Overview: Timely access to a variety of data sources will significantly improve situational awareness and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of emergency response services. There are, however, significant challenges regarding the identification, collection, analysis, distribution, utilization, management, and storage of data in public safety operations. Industry, through iCERT’s leadership, is uniquely positioned to address these challenges with the development and/or promotion of public policies, standards, best practices, and training initiatives that will drive innovation in the areas of data-centric public safety solutions.

The Program Plan (“Plan”) leading to effective implementation of this initiative includes the following key components:

1. Program Management – The Data Integration Initiatives includes a new Data Integration Working Group (“DIWG”), to be comprised of iCERT Members, task managed by a Program Manager (“PM”) and, overseen by iCERT’s Executive Committee.

2. Focus - The Plan will start with a gap analysis (to identify areas of opportunity), various program objectives and associated deliverables/timelines. This will include recommendations regarding public policies (including funding), standards, best practices, educational initiatives, etc., as relevant.

3. Industry & Public Safety Engagement – iCERT will engage with the broader industry and the public safety community (including National organizations like APCO and NENA, Federal entities like National 911 Office, the FirstNet Authority, telecom carriers, and individual PSAPs and agencies), for input to Plan objectives and broader support for Plan implementation. The development of regular conferences, user group meetings, and other public forums focused on Data Integration will enable iCERT to effectively engage the broader community while creating potential new revenue opportunities as well.

4. Communications & Promotion – The Plan will include specific initiatives designed to communicate Program details and progress to participants and key stakeholders, and to otherwise promote the Program and its objectives.

5. Coordination with Other iCERT Activities – The objectives and activities of the Program will be coordinated with other iCERT activities, such as Committees and Working Groups, to leverage resources already available and ensure minimal redundancy of effort.

6. Program Funding – The plan will include a funding plan, and we will work to find creative and innovative new paths to funding.

How to Join: To apply to participate in this cutting-edge initiative addressing the ongoing needs and future of data integration for use by the public safety community, contact Kim Robert Scovill at executivedirector@theindustrycouncil.org. Working groups are being formed with an anticipated program launch by early July.

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