The Disruptors: The start-up helping UK police to solve crimes
PUBLISHED: 11:15 23 July 2019 | UPDATED: 15:11 23 July 2019
Suffolk-based Chorus builds software to help law enforcement connect data used in criminal investigations - 80pc of the UK's police force is now using it. We spoke to Chorus founder and CEO Boyd Mulvey about what it takes to shake up the market.
What was the opportunity you identified that led to the launch of Chorus?
I found out that the police were putting all the data they had for criminal investigations into a spreadsheets in order to cleanse and analyse the data manually.
It was taking them weeks or months to do this for each investigation.
How did you use invention and innovation to disrupt the market?
We created new software that automated the process, saving law enforcement units 97pc of their time in some instances, and then adding analytical functionality like mapping, visualisation and reports that can be used as evidence in court.
What were the challenges you faced along the way and how did you learn from them?
Getting the users to trust the software was the first big hurdle, especially as the outputs are used in evidence, but we built the rules and processing of data around how they are trained to do it manually.
Every development we make is always based on user feedback and how they want the software to look, feel and operate. That's how we ensure they are always onboard with what we do.
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What's been the proudest moment so far in your business' development?
Chorus' technology has been instrumental in solving many of the UK's most high-profile crimes, from county lines drug dealing networks to incidents of terrorism and missing persons. Seeing a successful case in the news is always a proud moment.
If you were starting from the beginning again, what would you do differently?
Nothing. We've made mistakes along the way, but that's how you improve. Our software and our internal processes are slick now because of the bumps along the way.
What's the single most important piece of advice you'd give someone launching a disruptive start-up?
Make sure the customer is at the heart of what you are doing. Include them in the journey and show them how it will be better for them. If you expect people to change the way they have always done things simply because you think you have a better way, you will fail.
What are your future plans?
Every police force in the world has the same problem as the UK; every investigation involves vast quantities of data from multiple sources. Our future plans involve helping law enforcement outside of the UK, starting with the USA.
Chorus is the focus of the latest video in The Disruptors, a series highlighting businesses from Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridge changing the way business is done.