What is Community-Sourced Risk Intelligence?

What is Community-Sourced Risk Intelligence?

Community-sourced intelligence is the cornerstone of any safety and security risk management program. Crowdsourced risk information allows organizations to surface early warning insights and identify and address concerns before they escalate. This is also the premise of effective mobile risk management platforms such as Vector LiveSafe.

Here, we provide an overview of community-sourced intelligence and discuss its role in identifying risks, preventing incidents, and maintaining individual and organizational safety.

Crowdsourced Risk Information

The LiveSafe approach to community-sourced risk intelligence is based on many of the fundamental principles behind crowdsourcing, or the practice of soliciting information or services from a ‘crowd’ to reach a common goal. However, while crowdsourcing aims to tap into the wisdom of an entire global network of potential participants, a community-sourced risk intelligence program focuses on a well-defined group of potential participants within unique time and space constraints. 

In the workplace, for example, this defined group may be employees who conduct specific tasks, at specific times, in specific office buildings, and in specific geographic locations.

Although gathering crowdsourced risk information may seem simple, creating a participatory culture for safety and security risk intelligence shares the same challenges as traditional crowdsourcing. Broken into its basic components, crowdsourcing must have the following key ingredients: 

  1. An organization that clearly defines a task that needs performing.
  2. A community that is willing to perform the task voluntarily.
  3. An environment that allows interaction and work to take place (typically online).
  4. Mutual benefit to both the organization and community.


Establishing these four elements may be a challenge, but they are also the common ingredients shared by all successful crowdsourcing programs.

Using Crowdsourcing to Gather Risk Intelligence

Crowdsourcing is well-suited to knowledge discovery challenges like eliciting risk information, but organizations must provide a clear understanding of the task and the policy guidelines surrounding the community-sourced risk initiative. The organization must then commit to those guidelines so that the community (in this case, the workforce) is not discouraged from participating. For these workplace programs, the four components of crowdsourcing may be broken down as follows:

  1. Defined task: Identify and address emerging risks and protect your workforce.
  2. Voluntary participation: Develop a reliable, intuitive process for employees to report concerns and make it clear that participation, while voluntary, is valuable.
  3. Interactive environment: Deploy a mobile risk intelligence communications platform that enables employees to easily report concerns, receive alerts about safety considerations and guidance, and communicate with security in real time.
  4. Mutual benefit: Address concerns in a timely and transparent manner such that employees are aware that their voices are heard and considered.

Once these key ingredients are considered and developed, community-sourced risk information can be leveraged. The process of leveraging this information is based on the principle that members of communities know what normal looks like in their everyday lives and are capable of detecting deviations from that norm. 

For example, employees know when someone is out of place in their workplace and oftentimes have more insight and visibility than security teams. This is why it’s important that organizations engage their communities and tap into their knowledge about potential safety or security risks. 

The right tip at the right time could prevent the next workplace injury or assault, intellectual property theft, embezzlement incident, mental health crisis, or even the next active shooter incident. From common risks to low-frequency, high-severity incidents, community-sourced information is the key to preventing incidents and protecting your workforce and your organization.

Mobile Risk Intelligence Platforms

To gather useful intelligence, employee reporting processes must be efficient, intuitive, and reliable. One way to do this is by deploying a readily available state-of-the-art mobile app that allows community members to easily share their concerns, anonymously if desired. The Vector LiveSafe Mobile App makes this easy.

With features such as mass notifications, anonymous tip reporting, customizable resources, and more, Vector LiveSafe empowers employees and gives organizations the tools they need to identify and address emerging risks and active incidents. 

With community-sourced risk intelligence, organizations can surface early-warning threat indicators, make their workplaces safer, and meet their Duty of Care obligations. To learn more about mobile risk intelligence communications platforms and how they facilitate effective communities-sourced risk intelligence programs, download our Mobile Risk Intelligence Communications Platform Buyer’s Guide or request a Vector LiveSafe demo.


Alexandra Brunjes has a B.S. in Neurobiology from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. with minors in Creative Writing and French. She is a published journalist and experienced health and science writer. Her expertise includes risk intelligence, healthcare and neuroscience, and technology.

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