Jul 03

Inspection Software for the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)With the upcoming 4th of July celebrations, we at FMS are proud to have worked with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) over the past year to help them better maintain and preserve the important documents of our nation. Here’s what we did in our new case study: Inspection Software for the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

About the National Archives

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is the record keeper for the United States. Of all documents and materials created in the course of business by the United States Federal government, only 1%-3% are important enough for legal or historical reasons that they are kept by NARA forever.

Natonal Archives Building in Washington DC

Background

To ensure the quality of work performed by their Facilities Management service providers, the National Archives and Records Administration performs both random and targeted inspections of completed work orders.

Problem

Inspection findings were documented on paper, which ironically, wasn’t efficient for the NARA. Reports were manually created to generate the service results. This manual process was time consuming and prone to human error.

Solution

FMS was selected to create a professional, multiuser system to collect the inspection results electronically and generate a variety of management reports.Within two months, we deployed our solution which offers data entry screens to replicate a variety of existing forms and many new management reports. An intuitive user interface made it easy for users without requiring extensive training. More importantly, we established a solid database foundation to improve NARA processes both today and into the future.

Operational Impact

  • Stores inspection results into a shared database
  • Increases efficiency and accuracy of the collection and reporting process
  • Gathers information and performs statistical analysis in ways that were previously not available
  • Eliminates the need to maintain paper files
Jun 20

Analysis of Telephone Call Data Records with Sentinel Visualizer

Discover more about Telephone Call Data Records Analysis


What valuable information can you get out of huge amounts of telephone call records?

The US government is trying to collect all the telephone call data records (CDR) for US and international phone calls though its PRISM program. Does having this information constitute snooping? Is it an invasion of privacy? Or can it really help investigators track, find, and thwart threats?

Does it Matter with So Much Data?

With billions of phone calls, how could anyone possibly find anything of value amid all the innocent, unrelated calls? No one can possibly gain significant insight looking at an Excel spreadsheet or a database showing rows and columns of all those calls. Isn’t it just noise?

How Sentinel Visualizer Analyzes Call Data Records

Without advanced analytics software, the data is overwhelming. Our commercial Sentinel Visualizer program from our Advanced Systems Group provides a platform to gain insight into the massive number of phone calls. It’s about managing large amounts of data, seeing the relationships between entities (phone numbers and people), drilling down where necessary, and filtering based on time, geography, and relationships:

  • Call detail records are imported into the Sentinel Visualizer database (SQL Server)
  • Link Analysis Networks can be used to visually see the calls made by any phone number
  • Multiple levels of phone calls can be linked to identify groups of phones related to each other (cells of activity)
  • Geospatial Mapping and integration with Google Earth to see calls across the world
  • Social Network Analysis (SNA) to identify related phones (cells) and spanners between cells
  • Temporal Analysis can be used to filter data to specific time ranges
  • If information exists for known individuals and their phone number(s), related phones can be quickly identified as warranting additional investigation
  • Link Traversal Analysis can be performed between two phone numbers to show all the phones related to them through multiple levels, and quickly filter out the unrelated calls to identify the “community of interest”
  • Numerous reporting and exporting options: print diagrams and customized reports, or export them in image, PDF, Word, Excel.

Link Analysis Network Visualization of Telephone Call Data Records (CDR)

Learn more here

Apr 25

Boston Marathon Bombing and the Use of Social Network Analysis (SNA) Software

Sentinel VisualizerWhile we at FMS are best known for our Microsoft Access add-in products, we are also a leader in the Big Data analytics world with our Sentinel Visualizer product from our FMS Advanced Systems Group.

Sentinel Visualzer helps analysts mine their data to find hidden relationships among people, places and events. Built with Visual Studio .NET on a SQL Server database, Sentinel Visualizer provdes advanced data visualization through link analysis, geospatial mapping, timelines, social network analysis (SNA), advanced filtering and decluttering, and many other tools to maximize the value of data.

MIT Technology Review Article on Social Network Analysis and Boston Marathon BombingAs the rampage and manhunt in Boston, Cambridge, and Watertown transpired, MIT Technology Review published an article that mentioned our Sentinel Visualizer product. In the April 19, 2013 article, David Talbot describes the rise of technology to detect the activities of criminals over the Internet and connect seemingly unrelated people, places and things. For more information, visit Building a Picture of the Boston Marathon Bombing Suspects through Social Network Analysis

Mar 20

Microsoft Access Query Sorting on Multiple Date or Numeric Fields with Blank Values

Read our new paper: Microsoft Access Sorting on Multiple Date (or Numeric) Fields with Blank Values

Learn how to sort on multiple date fields when null values exist by using a calculated field. By using the IIf function with Is Null, you can easily sort to see the most recent (or oldest) records.

We’ve included information on avoiding the IsNull function to maintain SQL Server compatibility. Additional information and examples are provided to show why using the NZ function (NullToZero) is not equivalent and returns the wrong results.

Microsoft Access QueriesThis new paper is part of our Microsoft Access Query Help Center.

Dec 26

Total Access Statistics Update for Microsoft Access 2010, 2007, and 2003

Microsoft Access 2010

We are very pleased to release an update to Total Access Statistics for Microsoft Access 2010, 2007, and 2003. If you are an owner of version 14.0, 12.8, and 11.8 respectively, you can download the update at no charge.

Total Access Statistics is the most popular data analysis program for Microsoft Access. It extends the data analysis capabilities of Access queries to let you perform advanced numerical analysis on your data. Use any Access table, linked table, or query to perform calculations such as percentiles, regressions, frequency distributions, t-Tests, correlations, non-parametrics, rankings, moving averages, etc. It can also perform data normalization and let you select random records. As you would expect in a query, you can specify Group By fields so analysis is performed on each set of records with identical group fields. Total Access Statistics runs within Access with all output in Access tables. It supports MDB, ACCDB, and ADP databases.

The update includes these enhancements:

  • Significant performance improvements when processing large numbers of records
  • While analyzing records, a new status form appears with an option to cancel the process
  • Setup program offers machine or current user installation options
  • Resolves all known issues

For additional information, visit the Total Access Statistics Update page.