Research Hub > Unlock the Transformative Power of Your Surveillance System with Video Analytics

September 06, 2023

5 min

Unlock the Transformative Power of Your Surveillance System with Video Analytics

Even with a cutting-edge surveillance system in place, organizations that aren’t using video analytics powered by AI and ML to gain valuable business insights may be underutilizing the capabilities of the video technology they’ve already installed.

Organizations who have prioritized protecting people, property and premises already understand the importance of video surveillance solutions. Cameras are one of the best ways to deter theft, ensure safety and more. Smart cameras, or cameras connected to a cloud that leverage algorithms to derive value from video data, take it one step further.

However, many who have deployed cameras and smart cameras throughout their facilities may not be reaping the full value of their video surveillance systems today.

The metadata from cameras and smart cameras can often be just as valuable — and as informative — as the footage captured. After all, even well-staffed security teams may not have the time to manually review every minute of video footage that their cameras capture. That’s where advanced video analytics solutions come in.

Powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), video analytics solutions are a powerful tool for organizations to bolster their physical security posture by improving situational awareness, speeding up forensic searches and gaining valuable business insights.

Putting Your Video Surveillance System to Work

Whether your organization’s priorities for video surveillance include safety, loss prevention, observation or all of the above, the first step in harnessing the power of video analytics is to determine the problem your organization needs to solve with video data.

Are you struggling with retail theft? Do you need to receive alerts when abnormal behavior is detected? Perhaps your main goal is to track queues of people and adjust staffing needs when necessary.

The better your understanding of the problems that can be solved with your current video surveillance system, the more likely it is that video analytics can provide a robust solution.

The Role of AI and ML in Video Analytics

With the right data behind the right smart camera system, there’s almost no limit to what video analytics can do to empower your organization with the information it needs to be more precise and successful.

Nearly any problem or anomaly that can be observed with the human eye can be efficiently detected with a high-quality smart camera. Video analytics and AI can then help detect and respond to that problem programmatically at scale, wherever your systems reside. From there, machine learning algorithms will help improve on this data to ensure a higher degree of accuracy and fewer false positives in the future.

Across industries, video analytics are being used to enhance the efficacy of cameras and the data coming from them in new and unexpected ways.

For example, a recent healthcare client called on CDW experts to help them more effectively use their video surveillance system to monitor patients who have recently received operations.

In the healthcare industry, patients who fall and injure themselves following operations are a major cause of financial loss. Rather than require other healthcare personnel to monitor these patients post-op, this healthcare organization asked us to more effectively use their video surveillance system to enable monitoring of patients with fewer nurses on-call. 

Using the video data that this healthcare facility captured, we were able to set their cameras up to monitor all four patient bed rails and send alerts to the proper personnel when a patient’s arm or leg crossed a rail. This simple solution resulted in a cost savings of millions of dollars per year, allowing the organization to avoid the high cost of additional surgeries, physical therapies and onsite monitoring of patients.

Using Video Analytics to Unlock Business Insights

The opportunities for video analytics to make a tangible difference in your business are as vast and effective as your organization’s vision. Across industries, organizations everywhere are using smart cameras and video analytics to gain immediately actionable insights while protecting their assets and personnel, including:

  • Intrusion Detection: Swiftly identify and notify security personnel of unauthorized access to restricted zones.
  • Asset Tracking: Ensure valuable equipment resources are always accounted for.
  • Retail Theft Prevention: Recognize fraudulent activities at checkout from shoplifting to scan avoidance and more. Instant alerts enable agile security responses, minimizing loss and shrinkage.
  • Queue Monitoring: Diligently track queues, capture wait times and optimize staff allocation, improving customer satisfaction in the process.
  • Facial Recognition: Use as a biometric credential for access control or to identify and track unknown persons on the premises.
  • Employee Safety: AI-enhanced hazard detection can help proactively identify potential workplace dangers, ensuring employee welfare and reducing accidents.
  • Emergency Response: Real-time information on the location and nature of security breaches empowers emergency responders to pinpoint crises immediately.
  • Customer Insights: ML algorithms can scrutinize customer behavior, foot traffic and dwell times, providing data to improve store layouts, optimize product placements and enhance the overall shopping experience.

Getting Video Analytics to Work for You

While it’s possible to build advanced video analytics capabilities into your existing video systems, it’s important to understand that higher quality video will produce more precise analytics.

The more robust your technology base, the clearer — and more precise — your image and video analytics will be. Before making the decision to get started using video analytics, take a thorough look at your current video tools and decide how your organization will need to use them. If you’re planning on using facial recognition, for example, it may be time to invest in higher-powered video surveillance equipment.

Collaborating with an expert partner who has deep expertise in physical security and can take a full-systems view of your video surveillance environment is essential. Beyond choosing and installing cameras, an expert partner should be able to help with everything from site planning and design to visualization, reporting and ongoing management.