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A Modern Checklist for Modern Investigations

Dylan Salisbury

Today’s investigators are jumping over bigger and bigger hurdles to get to the truth. With issues such as growing data volumes, diversifying data types, and an increasing number of distributed data sources, maintaining the status quo of investigations is becoming increasingly untenable. And the stakes are getting higher.

It’s important to periodically check in and see how the investigations practice is changing, what tools are being employed now, and what kinds of solutions might be just around the corner.

Our new infographic gives you a quick rundown of the tools and practices every investigation team needs to meet the current state of investigations. Take a look and see if and where your team could benefit from implementing these techniques.

A Modern Checklist for Modern Investigations | Infographic
Click here for the full infographic.

The (Not Too Distant) Future State of Investigation Tools

Of course, the processes and solutions outlined in the infographic only capture the bare minimum that your workplace investigation software needs to keep up with investigations. But with the data landscape constantly changing—and regulations increasing—the most successful investigatory teams are doing more than just keeping up. They’re futureproofing their practices for tomorrow with an eye on the changing tools and processes. Things like:

Easy integration with new data sources

Finding workplace investigation software that more seamlessly integrates with the places where your data lives and takes less time to set up for a discrete matter can greatly reduce the time to review. Many solutions can currently integrate fairly well, and with the help of a solutions provider or an IT team, many investigators already benefit from a well-integrated experience.

Expect to see this relationship between systems and technology become increasingly smoothed out and the process of setting up an investigations matter become more streamlined.

Automation for common investigation workflows

Though every investigation is different, much of the setup and process often stays the same from matter to matter. Solutions that give you the ability to automate those rote processes can save your team time and help you focus on more important, strategic work. Keep an eye on solutions that offer that type of time savings.

Greater integration of investigations-specific AI models

Growing data volumes in investigations present a double-edged sword—while on the one hand growing volumes may present more complexity, they also present a greater set of data from which more accurate predictions can be drawn by machines. AI can help pinpoint risk through fine-tuned machine learning models. With AI, teams can be more efficient and reduce risk at the same time.

AI might seem like an intimidating prospect or a black box, but really it is nothing more than a computer system—albeit a complex one—that supplements human capabilities by identifying patterns in data, learning from experiences, and making statistically based decisions. More focus will be paid to investigations specific models soon.

Entity extraction

As data volumes continue to grow, entity recognition and extraction will empower investigations professionals to quickly classify and zero in on people, products, places, or organizations. With entity recognition, all the information and associated communications from an individual—such as their email aliases, phone numbers, chat app usernames, department, company, etc.—are pulled into one. This kind of machine-assisted filtering can help greatly reduce the amount of data that gets sent to review and ultimately reduce the time to truth.

Sentiment analysis

Discovering the truth in an investigation often relies on written text, but there’s also valuable information hidden between the lines: emotion.

Sentiment analysis identifies and flags the emotional sentiment in text, uncovering that hidden and much-needed insight. Instead of simply identifying keywords and concepts, sentiment analysis helps you uncover themes that would have otherwise been missed. It’s becoming a crucial supplement to human searching and a pertinent way to reduce risk.

Anomaly detection

In cases of employee wrongdoing and other investigatory matters, it’s common that the malpractice will follow some type of abnormal pattern or appear as an anomaly, such as using the same terms or phrases (i.e., codewords) repeatedly or sending an email at 2:30 a.m. Teams can swiftly identify these patterns today via analytics and visualization, but pattern recognition will become even more polished and efficient in the near future. The better you can detect patterns, the easier it will be to detect misconduct.

Whatever changes continue to shape the future of investigations practices, Relativity will remain steadfast in delivering solutions to increase efficiency, reduce review time, and help you quickly pinpoint misconduct before it escalates.

Ready to improve your investigation process?

Dylan Salisbury is a product marketing manager at Relativity, where he specializes in understanding and serving the corporate community.