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Detectives in the Office: Why we all need to embrace our inner Sherlock Holmes

Terry Smagh, Vice President of Qlik South East North Asia | April 10, 2014
I personally think everyone can learn something from Luther and Sherlock and harness their inner detective for work.

Rapid response
As discussed above, office employees are required to manage multiple sources of data and respond to client's demands as soon as possible. One good example (albeit one a little closer to Sherlock's world than most) is the Skåne (southern Sweden) Police Department, which implemented a business intelligence platform to assist with a high profile crime case that lasted more than a year.

While the life of a detective is probably more admin-heavy than the TV admits, the challenges faced at the Skåne Police Department are broadly similar. In this case, the Skåne Police Department were able to analyse data and reports that would have taken one police officer in excess of 43 years.

The crimes took place in Malmö where people were shot at while they stood at bus stops, sat in their cars, and moved about indoors. One person had died and several others had been wounded in the attacks. For this case, the analysts loaded ten years' worth of crime reports into an existing business intelligence application.  The platform helped expedite the data crunch, and through it the Skåne Police Department was able to pull critical information to pinpoint the serial killer suspect in one minute rather than nine months it could possibly have taken.

Having formerly required Excel spreadsheets to collate and organise data, the Skåne Police Department is now able to effectively coordinate resources, reallocate staff and ultimately, keep Skåne safer than they were able to before. It seems clear then, that if business intelligence can help the police respond to a demanding public, any business could benefit a great deal when responding to demanding clients.

On the whole, Luther or Sherlock Holmes would probably ridicule any comparison between their roles and that of a data analyst. However, I'd like to believe that Sherlock would feel right at home analysing large amounts of data from numerous sources and reacting accordingly if he were given the right business intelligence support. Maybe using the skills of their favourite TV detectives isn't so far-fetched in the workplace after all. I recommend all employees follow these tips to help get ahead in business. Everyone should channel their inner Sherlock - but maybe without the drama.



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