Data Visualization

Blog of the Data Visualization & Communication Course at OSB-AUB

This is my favorite part about analytics: Taking boring flat data and bringing it to life through visualization” John Tukey

City Echoes: Decoding Chicago’s Crime Patterns for a Safer Beirut Tomorrow

City Echoes: Decoding Chicago’s Crime Patterns for a Safer Beirut Tomorrow

Exposing Beirut’s Struggle with Insight from Chicago’s Urban Symphony

In the once-vibrant areas of Beirut, a city facing economic crisis, a quiet upsurge in crime, especially theft and robbery, casts a shadow. The challenge increases when important crime data is still confidentail, making it more difficult to understand the complex criminal environment in the city. Unflinching in the face of difficulty, our investigation draws inspiration from Chicago’s urban environment and aims to uncover the hidden strands that may lead to crime hotspots and relevant individuals in question. The study turns into a ray of hope, a data-driven compass pointing the path toward strengthening public safety in the face of Beirut’s difficulties.

Cracking the Nuanced Web of Beirut’s Increasing Crime Rates

As we delve deeper into our investigation of Beirut’s urban dynamics, the rise in crime rates becomes an interesting illustration of the city’s intricate issues. The social and economic fabric has been scarred by the turbulent aftermath of the Beirut port explosion and the widespread effects of COVID-19, which created opportunities for crime. The ongoing economic crisis, made worse by inflation and financial stress, drives people to extreme lengths. When there is political turmoil, those who take advantage of the situation and avoid responsibility exploit the confusion.

Connecting Chicago and Beirut through Shared Data Approaches to Reduce Crime

A promising possibility for the implementation of a comparable crime reduction plan is revealed by drawing comparisons between Chicago and Beirut. The Chicago Police and the Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF) possess similar datasets regarding crimes. The common data elements set the stage for replicating Chicago’s effective strategy in Beirut, including crime locations, kinds, and the critical differentiation between domestic and non-domestic occurrences.

Here’s to a Safer City

A strategic beacon appeals in the maze of urban issues, where the conflict of rising crime is increasingly complemented by the rhythm of city life. Imagine this: smart use of resources, keen observation of trends, and cooperative interaction with regional authorities. These are the cornerstones of our practical strategy to strengthen public safety:

– Allocating Resources in Hotspot Regions: Determine high-crime areas and use resources like police stations and security cameras strategically.
– Identification of Patterns: Find recurrent crime trends and stay alert of problems near certain hotspots, such as banks and jewelry stores.
– Follow daily and seasonal trends: Assign more officers on duty when crime is at its highest.
– Monitoring and Assessing Performance: Monitor crime rates both in terms of time and location. Perform analysis based on category and use unit performance as a benchmark for efficient research strategies.
Through the perceptive eye of data visualization, all the suggested strategies may be indicated and easily applied, providing a thorough and dynamic perspective on the dynamics of urban crime.

Addressing Intentional Homicides in Jamaica: A Strategy Rooted in Health and Education

Addressing Intentional Homicides in Jamaica: A Strategy Rooted in Health and Education


by Charbel Hanna Daou (MSBA 24)


In the heart of the Caribbean, Jamaica faces a startling reality: its soaring intentional homicide rate is not just a statistic, but a looming shadow over the nation’s future. This crisis goes beyond mere numbers, threatening the very fabric of Jamaican society and shaking the pillars of stability and safety that its citizens rely on. It’s a call to action, demanding not just attention, but a deep dive into the root causes and a strategic battle plan to turn the tide against this wave of violence. The urgency to address and mitigate this issue couldn’t be more pressing, as the fate of Jamaica’s well-being hangs in the balance.



Delving into the Crisis


The alarming rise in Jamaica’s homicide rates over the past two decades is a cause for serious concern. The data shows an increase to 52.1 homicides per 100,000 people by 2021, a figure that not only stands out in the Caribbean region but also ranks highest on a global scale. This disturbing trend is indicative of deeper societal and systemic issues that need to be addressed with urgency and precision.



Strategic Approaches Aligned with SDGs


In response to this escalating crisis, two potential strategic solutions, in alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), present themselves as viable pathways to combat the high homicide rates:

  1. Increasing Government Health Expenditure (Aligned with SDG 3): This strategy focuses on the crucial role of health in society. By boosting government spending on health care, particularly in areas like mental health services and addiction treatment, Jamaica could tackle some of the underlying factors contributing to the high rate of homicides. The premise here is that better access to health services, including mental health care, can play a significant role in preventing violence and crime.
  2. Extending the Duration of Compulsory Education (Aligned with SDG 4): Education is a powerful tool for social change. By increasing the years of compulsory education, Jamaica could address several root causes of crime, including poverty and inequality. Education not only equips individuals with knowledge and skills but also opens up opportunities, promoting social mobility and reducing the likelihood of individuals engaging in criminal activities.



Learning from Global Experiences


The experiences of the Russian Federation and Colombia provide valuable lessons. Both countries have demonstrated a correlation between enhanced health expenditures, extended compulsory education, and a decrease in intentional homicides. In contrast, Jamaica’s relatively stagnant approach in these areas might be contributing to its high homicide rates. This comparison suggests that adopting similar strategies could yield positive results in Jamaica.



Government of Jamaica, Here’s What You Should Do


Given the evidence and the success of similar strategies in other countries, the following recommendations are proposed for Jamaica:

  1. Increase Health Expenditure: A substantial increase in health expenditure per capita, specifically by a minimum of $100, could significantly improve the quality and accessibility of health services. This step would not only address immediate health concerns but also contribute to the long-term goal of reducing violence and crime.
  2. Reform Education Policies: Strengthening and reforming education policies to extend the duration of compulsory education to at least 12 years is crucial. This change would have far-reaching effects, not only in educating the populace but also in providing them with better opportunities and reducing the likelihood of them resorting to crime.



In the face of its daunting homicide rates, Jamaica stands at a crucial crossroads. The journey ahead is challenging, but it’s also filled with opportunity. By adopting innovative strategies like increasing health expenditure and extending compulsory education, Jamaica isn’t just fighting crime; it’s reinventing its future. This bold move towards enhancing healthcare and education could be the key to unlocking a new era of peace and stability. Imagine a Jamaica where every citizen is empowered by knowledge and supported by a robust healthcare system. That’s the vision—a safer, stronger Jamaica, thriving in harmony and moving confidently towards a brighter tomorrow.