In a new project we are aiming to explore what we can learn about a current or future situation by looking into a past filled with wast amounts of knowledge and information distributed over a large organization. As part of the project we will try to mine knowledge from the Fire and Rescue Service’s incidents reports from the past to inform decision making  and improve sensemaking for incidents in the present. Another important question we want to answer is what sort of information has a triggering effect and can change how you view a specific situation. I believe that there are particular aspects of specific incidents that keeps repeating over time and that those particulars could contribute to an improved response. The information might come in the form notes or comments made about the structure of a specific building, it might be about problems with the pressure of specific fire hydrants, or it might be problems with violence in a specific area of a city. No matter what type of information or knowledge it might be, it is hard to argue that it would not be of value for the fire crew responding to an incident where other fire crews has had previous experiences.
To be able to answer these questions we need to dig deep into the science of knowledge and data mining, human computer interaction and organizational learning. If you, the reader of this post, has any experience in these fields or ideas about our project you are welcome to contribute in any form you like. More information about the project will be posted in this blog, in my colleague Dr. Jonas Langren’s blog and also in the Crisis Response Lab blog.