The Power of Data

Mar 12, 2021 | Newsletter 2021 03 March

The Power of Data

Think of fire incident data as puzzle pieces. Each incident report is a missing piece of the puzzle and the more pieces that are gathered, the clearer the picture becomes. Puzzles take time to come together, and they take work. The NIRS is the same. This long-term project requires a sustained effort from communities.

The data is only as powerful as the information entered into the system so data integrity is incredibly important. The data collected through incident reports will be used to direct attention, awareness, training, and public education. Initially, data will be used for research purposes to identify trends and establish a baseline understanding of what’s going on. It will take a few years to establish enough data to move into the next phase where the interconnectedness of fire incidents and other social, economic, and health factors are clearly understood. In the future, this information will be shared with communities, RIOs, and NIOs to support decision making.

The information will also be used to inform and direct our program development and program delivery. The more we know, the better we’re able to identify trends and improve fire and life safety.

We’ve Got You Covered: Data Security and Privacy

The NIRS stores the information gathered from communities — the privacy, safety, and security of this data is taken seriously. The raw data will be entered into cloud-based storage and will only be accessed by authorized users, that is NIFSC Project and NIRS personnel.

Security measures, such as permissions and passwords, are in place to ensure that the data is protected. Only the NIFSC Project user with the required permission level will have access to the data. Following the initial development of the NIRS, communities will have the ability to access their data; the process for doing so has not yet been developed. In a later phase of development, the process of requesting information will eventually be automated. Authorized individuals from communities will be able to access and extract data for their reference and use. This is a longer-term goal, and it will require a partnership with your community to foster that two-way data sharing.

Data Privacy 101

Data privacy is the assurance that data shared with an organization by individuals is only used for its intended purpose. Data privacy is important because the success of the NIRS relies on people and communities feeling comfortable sharing their information. Trust is required. We rely on you to help the NIRS reach its full potential by submitting fire incident reports and you rely on us to protect this information and to use the data that we collect only for its intended purpose. With this trust in place, together we can collect the necessary information to make impactful changes in communities.