Processing for analysis of a strategic nature means all methods and techniques by which information is collected, stored, processed and assessed with the aim of supporting and developing a criminal policy that contributes to the efficient and effective prevention of and fight against crime.
See also: Drewer/Miladinova, The BIG DATA Challenge: Impact and opportunity of large quantities of information under the Europol Regulation, in Computer Law & Security Review 33 (2017), pp. 298-308.
Strategic analysis aims to give an insight and better understanding of crime and criminal trends in general. This should enable decisions at a strategic level to influence the criminal developments in question. Examples are adjusting legislation, training and capacity building to better investigate and prosecute, preventive measures and awareness raising. Strategic analysis may also indicate on which points concrete thematic analysis is recommended to further specify how to address the problems concerned from an operational perspective.
Processing for analysis of a thematic nature means all methods and techniques by which information is collected, stored, processed and assessed with the aim of determining the operational focus and the most appropriate tactics and methods to prevent, disrupt and investigate crime.
Thematic analysis fills the space between strategic analysis and operational analysis. The focus is more concrete than strategic analysis and that makes the use of personal data more relevant. Yet the aim is not to look into concrete criminal offences, but rather to understand a criminal phenomenon, what the main factors, actors and enablers are, in order to indicate where to target the investigative resources and how to tackle the problem most effectively. As such it can direct decisions on the prioritisation or initiation of criminal investigations or other operational action.
Even though personal data may be used for processing for the purpose of strategic and thematic analysis, the results of such analysis usually do not contain any references to concrete data subjects.