The information gathered by a video management system is now far beyond being merely a bunch of recorded video streams. We collect oodles of data from video analytics, POS, OPC, access control, and other systems; but having this data is not enough. We want to be able to analyze what is happening, preferably on the fly, and react to it so that the essential information is quantitative, enabling us to run all sorts of queries on it afterward.
In this regard, various counters inside the video management system are our best friends. A counter is an entity that contains some value, which can be incremented or decremented, reset to zero, or assigned a specified value based on some event. Counters in video analytics are extensively used for storing information such as how many times an analytics rule has been triggered.
Ganz CORTROL software suite provides you with powerful reporting tools. Aimed primarily at handling data received from video analytics, these also support embedded software counters, which, in their turn, may be based on data from various external modules, such as POS terminals or access control systems.
The reporting functionality is already included with Ganz CORTROL Premier and CORTROL Global editions . All reports are based on the counters' data, which can be received in several ways:
While both server-side and camera-side video analytic counters provide statistics on the triggered analytics rules – typically, people or another object counting, – software counters can be assigned to any events that exist on the server. These can be events from third-party modules – license plate recognition, facial recognition, OPC servers, access control software, POS systems, and others. So, you can have reports on how frequently a gate or a door is opened, which beer is the top one bestseller on weekends, how many times per month a particular person visits the restricted area, or even who of your employees are late for work most often. Moreover, on many, many more use cases, of course, in many different areas, including security, public transportation, retail, healthcare, and traffic analysis.
In this article, we shall take a look at a narrow application of this functionality – retail analytics. Count people on entrances, know how many shoppers are in an area, analyze queue length to reduce the customer waiting time, discover the busiest times and locations in your store – this is only a short list of benefits for the retail world when you know how to utilize your data.
Preliminary setup is necessary to obtain the data to run the reports. Depending on the kind of counters you are going to employ in a case, you may want to use:
Data received from different sources and multiple channels can be combined when making a single report. The numerical data from all counters are bound to the recorded video streams, so, on the one hand, this guarantees data accuracy, and, on the other hand, stipulates that the data used for creating the report are received within the same period.
This reporting option, available in the Ganz CORTROL Monitor application, provides you with an opportunity to combine counters from different sources for comparison. So, you can connect to your server – or servers – from literally anywhere in the world to create a custom report, which can be adjusted as many times as required, and then exported into a PDF file. The feature is available automatically if at least one of the connected servers has some counters' data available: all counters will be then listed in the Reports tab, with their source channel names indicated next to them.
Let us compare the customer flow from two store entrances over the past hour:
Hit the Make report button, and the result will be displayed in the main window section. Voilà!
Now, to modify this query so that the report displays the customer flow intensity not just for the past hour, but for the same hour every day for the past week:
Should you want the report to include working days only:
Remember that closing the CORTROL Monitor application will blank your report settings, so use the Export report button to save the graph as a PDF file.
Should you need to create regular reports with identical settings, CORTROL server can do it for you automatically and then email you with the ready-made PDF. You can pre-configure daily, weekly and monthly reports to be sent to you right after the interval of interest has ended – for instance, the daily report will be sent to you right after the clock strikes midnight.
Let us configure a daily report with per-hour average of the queue length.
The report settings are mostly the same; also, it is necessary to:
If you have no mail servers to choose from (meaning you have not listed any so far), you can add one right on this step.
Switch to the second tab, Counters, and mark the necessary counters – in this example, that would be Queue. Finally, save the configuration. There is a Preview button above the report list: click it to have CORTROL build a test report for you to make sure it produces the exact desired result.
Now, you can go and create any number of reports based on your collected VIDEO ANALYTICS data and send them to correct people :)