Many movies and television shows involving law enforcement officers include a scene where a person bursts into a room with a key piece of information for the detectives who are gathered there discussing the case. This scene is based on some truths from historical methods of searching databases by detectives and intelligence analysts.

The trouble with this scene is there aren’t enough detectives or analysts to search the ever increasing number of information sources available to law enforcement. And not every local agency has the luxury of having the time or personnel to perform comprehensive searching and analysis of data for criminal investigations.

New and better methods of searching are needed for law enforcement to be able to search efficiently and analyze the data found. Federated searches are a method for sending database queries to several sources at the same time. This simultaneous searching is one way to help investigators overcome this problem. Returning information from many sources into one search is a great time saver.

We have discovered other methods of improving search results, and have included these into MSAT, Derry Software’s Multi Source Analysis Tool for law enforcement investigators. Combining the results into a single search result places the information from many sources into a single return for detectives to review. This improves the ability to analyze the information.

We have also discovered that no single set of search criteria is able to find all of the relevant information investigators need for their cases. So, we synchronize our serches by combining not only searching several sources at the same time, but also conducing several different searches within the different data sources at the same time.

This synchronized searching provided by MSAT, will return more information into a single search result for investigators to review than they ever could before.

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