Tampa preps for Super Bowl with BI tools

Tampa law enforcement officials will be tracking football fans through a system that combines BI tools and a specialized software app called E Team

Half a million football-crazed fans will jam Tampa, Florida, for this Sunday's Super Bowl showdown between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals, but a small army of law enforcement officials will be tracking the situation through a system that combines BI (business intelligence) tools and a specialized software application called E Team.

"People come for the excitement of it, the parties," said Tampa's emergency coordinator, Chauncia Willis, in an interview Thursday. "Most people don't have tickets. ... We are basing our plans on the worst-case scenario."

The E Team system, made by the El Segundo, California, vendor NC4, allows responders in the field to send reports back to Tampa's multi-agency command post, Willis said. Officials are also using the Crystal Reports software sold by SAP's Business Objects division, as well as videoconferencing software for "command-level briefings" twice a day.

The E Team system is Web-enabled, allowing users to log in remotely to send and receive information, such as duty logs, status of key infrastructure assets like roads and hospitals and information on planned activities.

"A lot of [Super Bowl] parties, especially the larger ones, need law enforcement present," Willis said of the last category. The system also includes mapping and instant messaging functionality, she said.

Meanwhile, officials are using Crystal Reports to create "incident action plans," which pull information from the E Team system into detailed reports. "Only the commanders get [them]. It's like a daily planner, but a daily planner on steroids."

The action plans provide the deepest level of information possible about a given event. For example, if a dignitary is scheduled to arrive in Tampa, the report would include the individual's planned route of travel through the city as well as what time local air space may be restricted, she said.

But now her focus is on game day.

"We think we're prepared," Willis said. "I hope it's a quiet event. We've been planning for the last two years. We feel confident we can make it happen and be successful."

But Willis and fellow officials won't get much of a break after the big game -- Tampa's annual Gasparilla Pirate Fest, which draws more than 500,000 people -- is scheduled for the following weekend.

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