Lake County to profit from bad drivers, thanks to data mining

Lake County to profit from bad drivers, thanks to data mining

on Aug 10, 14 • by Chris Bubinas • with No Comments

Lake County announced that it will sell court records concerning traffic violations to a data mining firm, which in turn will supply insight to insurance companies. This deal will generate revenue for the county, as well as help hold reckless drivers more accountable...

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In recent years, countless organizations have profited from data mining solutions. The technology enables firms to gain invaluable insight from raw information that would otherwise remain unusable.

As these tools become more common and their applications broader, groups that have never before ventured into the realm of data mining are starting to explore the possible gains offered by such solutions, both directly and indirectly. Most recently, Lake County announced that it will sell court records concerning traffic violations to a data mining firm, which in turn will supply insight to insurance companies. This deal will generate revenue for the county, as well as help hold reckless drivers more accountable.

A beneficial plan
The Times of Northwest Indiana reported that the Lake County Board of Commissioners agreed to sell the court records to Driver's History Information, a data mining company. Mark Pearman, executive director of Lake County government's information technology department, told the news source that this marks the third time that the county has granted access to its electronic court database to a third-party company. Driver's History will pay a one-time $1,000 fee for access, as well as $1,500 monthly and 10 cents for every record pulled beyond a 1,500 monthly limit. Lake County will use these funds to support the court's electronic record system.

Driver's History will sell these records to insurance companies, which will use the information to adjust its rates and impose charges on reckless drivers, the news source reported.

Arrangements such as these, which are becoming increasingly common, require court approval before moving forward. Chief Lake Superior Court Judge John Pera signed off on this deal, as the third-party data mining company will only have access to publicly available records, rather than any private data.

Expanding possibilities
Another recent example of the potential for local governments to benefit from similar data mining arrangements can be seen in South Carolina's Charleston County. There, rather than selling data to a third party, the county hired a data mining company to analyze its raw information in order to identify tax cheats.

As The Post and Courier reported, Charleston County officials believe many properties in the area are being taxed incorrectly, with owners falsely claiming residence in order to secure significant discounts. Consequently, the county misses out on a tremendous amount of its rightful revenue.

The data mining company hired by Charleston County will compare the county's database of 88,000 presumed owner-occupied homes against a national registry to identify inconsistencies. These homes are valued at more than $26 billion, which means that millions of dollars in property taxes are at stake in this data mining effort.

As local, state and federal government bodies continue to struggle to meet evolving demands with limited budgets, the use of advanced data mining tools will quite possibly become increasingly essential in a wide range of areas.

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