Understanding your business, and the people it touches, is a key element of any modern strategy. It’s often said that the only constant is change. Which means a deeper understanding of a situation as it changes is crucial. This provides a solid base to enable informed decisions, and people counting is a valuable metric for that.
In a Deloitte survey, 49% of senior executives said the greatest benefit of using analytics is it’s a key factor in better decision-making. The majority of business analytics are focused on understanding the customer. This all boils down to “what do they want, and how can I give it to them?”
Multiple data – multiple potential
The amount of data around is mind-boggling. According to Statista, the total amount of data globally was forecast to 64.2 zettabytes (a trillion gigabytes) in 2020. That figure is set to triple by 20252. This is generated by a vast range of devices, especially in the brave new world of IoT.
Even one business in the middle of all this data can be generating its fair share. Think about all the files you store, internet hits you measure and financial transactions you carry out. There’s also the data captured by security cameras and other devices that physically monitor a business. These data provide useful insights into what’s actually happening around us.
Assembling the data
The real power of this data is evident when it’s all collected in one place. This means you can analyze it with other data and see the ‘bigger picture’, mapping trends and making connections.
For example, imagine you could count the number of people moving through a museum and see ‘bottlenecks’ in the flow. This information, collected over time, could help you change the route through the museum, maximizing that flow. This would lead to more efficient crowd management, and happier visitors.
Imagine, too, that you can see from camera footage what piece of art was displayed at that point. That would give you an idea of the popularity of the item. This is valuable information, giving insights into what your visitors want, helping you to arrange, and even market, your exhibit.
When you can see all the different data gleaned by cameras and other devices, you can understand much more. But this only works if there’s a comprehensive platform to bring it all together. It’s like pieces of a jigsaw making a complete picture when assembled.
The centralized platform
HikCentral Professional Video Management Software is used to manage a security system, bringing together information from all its elements. This is vital, of course, to security personnel, allowing them to monitor the whole site centrally and providing alerts when it sees predefined actions.
But, with the help of specially-designed Dual-lens People Counting Cameras, it can do so much more. The cameras combine advanced technologies, including binocular stereo vision, 3D people detection and tracking, and height filtering. They also use the power of AI, embedded with Deep Learning algorithms. These filter false targets to provide accurate data, better scenario adaptation and multi alarms configuration.
A ‘people counting group’ is used to bring together data from people counting cameras of a certain zone. Users can also set some cameras as the region border. Only the persons detected by the cameras are calculated, and cameras inside the zone are ignored.
With this function users can know how many persons stay within the zone. This is useful for certain emergency or commercial scenarios. For example, during a fire escape, the number of people ‘still’ in the zone will be displayed on the map, and can be valuable information for emergency services.
This means HikCentral Professional can also be a powerful tool to provide insights into how people are using a space. The cameras also provide smart functions to make the data more accurate. For example, they can tell if the same person has exited and reentered in a certain timeframe. Once they are identified, they are removed from the count the second time. The system can also trigger an alarm if a person goes the ‘wrong way’.
People Counting Reports
The system generates reports, based on the data from the whole solution.
A People Counting Report, for example, shows the numbers counted by specially-designed People Counting Cameras. They also include numbers from the access records of access control devices. This report can show how many people stay in a specific region, arranged by zone and time period.
People Counting Reports can be formatted in certain ways and with tailored information. For example, users can add people counting group(s) for doors and cameras in a certain zone to define region borders. This can then be used to set a regular report rule. The platform sends reports by email to the target recipients regularly so they can easily monitor the situation.
Users can also make use of People Counting Reports to help them with practical people management, like maintaining social distancing in the pandemic. They are also used for provide high quality service in a luxury store by maintaining low numbers inside, so all customers get the most attention.
Another report, the People Density Report, shows the trend of crowd density data. This data refers to the amount of people that were picked up by a specific camera during a certain time period. The data is useful for management and control of people numbers in specific areas or space during special time periods.
These reports provide valuable insights and can be useful to decision-makers in scenarios ranging from retail to town planning. Essentially, they can provide an understanding of people’s behavior trends in any scenario that has to manage lots of people.
As data levels rise, the more a business can know about people numbers and behaviors rises too. However, this can only be tapped as a viable resource if it can be harnessed and analyzed. A central VMS provides the ability to bring disparate data feeds together, so data can provide insights to fuel informed business decisions. Their future can then be developed based on accurate information, reducing ‘guesswork’.
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