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Access for Public Safety

Exploiting Data Sets for Criminal Investigations and Decision Making

Course Overview
Law enforcement agencies are increasing working with data sets. Generated from cell phones investigations and other computer based sources, these data sets are typically stored as evidence but only rarely “mined” for their full potential. Most analysts are familiar with the features of Excel to manage data, but when the sets are large enough, and the questions big enough, a more robust program is required. Utilizing Microsoft Access to analyzing these data sets and helping them “make sense” to others is the purpose of this course.

The course builds a foundation in Access around several basic building blocks: Introduction to the Access, It’s comparison to Microsoft Excel, Data Basics, Connecting to Data sets, ODBC (Open Database Connectivity), Tables and Queries, SQL and RDBMS (relational database management systems), Reporting, and the Effective Presentation of Findings.  By the end of the course, students will be confident in their ability to access, manage and query data sets for the purposes of criminal investigations and overall agency benefits.

This class is designed for law enforcement personnel at any stage in their career. Prior experience or training in Excel or Access is helpful, but not necessary. Students will receive samples of data for use in the classroom during hands-on sessions. A laptop with Microsoft Access, Excel, Word and PowerPoint (version 2003 or higher) is required.

Agenda
Day One

  1. Introduction: Wizards, Views
  2. Data Basics: Importing, Pros and Cons, Access vs. Excel, Storage Capacity, Formatting, Permissions
  3. Import vs. Linking
  4. ODBC Basics: Connecting to Data, Permissions, User ID’s & Passwords
  5. Creating Tables: Primary Keys, Table View vs. Design View vs. Wizard, Field Types


Day Two

  1. Queries: Delete/Select Queries, Update
  2. Joining Tables: Inner & Outer Joins
  3. Update Queries and existing data
  4. Using lookup tables, Lookup States using places code table
  5. SQL Basics: Concatenation, Proper Formatting, Parsing, If Statements
  6. Reports
  7. Presenting Findings
  8. Tips and Tricks for Better Presentations