You’re already convinced that you need a new (or your first) investigative link analysis tool to conduct thorough, accurate, data-centric investigations. But how do you convince your organization to make the investment?
In this post, we’ll offer you a framework and talking points to support your request to procure investigative analysis software.
The first step in convincing your organization to invest in a link analysis tool is to show how the status quo is unacceptable.
Take inventory of the tools you are currently using and your current team workflow. Where are the bottlenecks and shortcomings, and what is the impact to the business or organization? In a law enforcement scenario, an inadequate data investigation tool or process could mean the difference between making an arrest with confidence versus missing a key connection, with potentially life-and-death consequences. In a corporate scenario, inadequate investigation tools translate into lost revenue due to fraud, intellectual property loss, cyber threats, or worse. Identify and summarize the specific risks within your organization and look for ways to quantify those risks.
You may find yourself in the role of project champion for overseeing the selection and implementation of a new link analysis tool. If that’s the case, it’s important to educate the team and likely your manager on the advantages and functionality of modern link analysis tools. See below for some of the most important advantages:
More thorough, accurate and defensible conclusions: This is often the most important and persuasive reason for organizations to adopt an investigative link analysis tool: their current tools aren’t able to handle the volume and complexity of their data, or data from multiple sources. Link analysis tools like Visallo solve these problems with more sophisticated visualizations, data ingestion and machine learning algorithms. These tools allow you to uncover hard-to-see relationships and connections among people, organizations and transactions. With easy to use web-based interfaces, link analysis tools significantly decrease the time and effort required to expose patterns indicative of fraud, money laundering, cyber threats and a host of other damaging or criminal activities.
Your manager or co-workers may not be familiar with data-driven investigative analysis tools like Visallo, which use link analysis, dashboards, geospatial analysis and other tools to expose relationships between entities, uniquely enabling analysts to understand complex data. Contact Us to chat with the Visallo team or Schedule a Demo.
Flexible data ingestion: With modern investigative link analysis tools, you can automate the import of data from multiple sources and systems using an API. Visallo, for example, uses a powerful self-describing API called GraphQL. With the API, data ingestion can happen as needed, whether that’s continuous / ongoing as the data is created, on a regular schedule, in batches, or in a one-off manner.
Ease of use for Analysts and Investigators: Software that’s easier and more intuitive to use makes investigators’ and analysts’ work faster and more effective. This is often the case for web-based link analysis tools, which allow users to jump in and be productive quickly without needing extensive training. In addition, since web-based software is installed on a server in the cloud or on prem, end users don’t need to install anything locally on their computers.
Improved collaboration: Collaboration matters for investigators. If you’re currently using spreadsheets or a desktop application for analysis and investigations, it’s easy for important information to get siloed or stuck on hard drives and in email inboxes. Link analysis tools that offer real-time collaboration, allow multiple teammates to work in the same investigation simultaneously and share insights, questions and conclusions.
More specific access control and permissions: Unlike older systems or spreadsheets, which provide more black-and-white access and security options, modern link analysis tools enable you to control what users see in a much more granular way. For example, within Visallo, you could allow some users to see all data about the person entities in the system, including their name, photo, ID number, address, etc. while a second user might only be able to see the person’s ID number without the identifying details, even in shared work products. The more sensitive an organization’s data is, the higher the demands tend to be for fine-grained permissioning options.
Visallo is more than just link analysis - analytic dashboards are critical to many analyst’s daily workflows. Talk to Us For more information.
Dynamic data ontology: Investigative link analysis tools enable you to structure your data around the questions you need to answer by creating a data ontology. A Data ontology is a basic structure for your data, which connects various people, places, records and other entities through their relationships or connections. A graph database stores data in three different categories: (1) an entity, which is a person, place or thing; (2) a relationship, which is the connection between two entities; and (3) properties, which are descriptions of those entities or relationships. The Visallo team encourages new users to start with the simplest ontology possible, focusing on the main entities and relationships within their data, then adapt and grow the ontology as they begin to see what questions they need to ask and analysis they need to perform. This is possible with Visallo’s dynamic ontology functionality.
If your manager still needs convincing, set up a time for your preferred vendor to talk directly to key players within your organization. They can conduct a demo and share case studies of how other organizations have benefited from implementing investigative link analysis, how it can be applied to your organization’s specific use case, and answer any questions or concerns directly.
For more on Visallo and how it can help your organization strengthen your investigations, set up a time to talk with us or visit our videos page for an in-depth look at how investigations work with Visallo.