Survey Highlights Need For Advanced Analytics And Machine Learning To Accelerate Investigations


OpenText announced findings from a recent independent survey from Compliance Week, sponsored by OpenText. The results show the importance of both advanced technology and dedicated teams that can quickly deliver data insights to reduce time and cost and result in better outcomes.

The benchmarking survey, which garnered 200 responses from compliance, legal, internal audit, and other professionals around the world, reveals that despite a perceived need for improved efficiencies and outcomes, many organisations are not utilising data analytics or artificial intelligence capabilities for the investigating of large volumes of electronically stored information.

“Data analytics, automation, and machine learning are necessary tools in supporting investigations,” said Lou Blatt, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at OpenText. “Vast increases in information, changing data privacy and compliance requirements, and growing cybersecurity risks are all contributing to the need for a faster approach to managing and conducting investigations that results in better outcomes.”

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Key findings from the survey include:

  • Increasing number of investigations: Respondents indicated that over the past year, they have faced an increasing volume of employee conduct (32 per cent), regulatory and enforcement (20 per cent), cybersecurity (18 per cent), and data privacy (14 per cent) investigations.     
  • Time and resource constraints: Respondents identified the main barriers to managing and conducting investigations as time constraints (42 per cent), collecting data from remote and off-network locations (39 per cent), and difficulty in collecting data from new sources of electronically stored information (39 per cent).
  • A variety of investigations: Investigations resulting from employee conduct represent a little over a third (37 per cent) of electronically stored information for collection and review, followed closely by cybersecurity (35 per cent), regulatory investigations and enforcement (34 per cent) and financial reporting (31 per cent).
  • Budgets are expected to remain flat: Just over half of respondents (51 per cent) are expecting the overall number of investigations within their business to increase in the next 1 to 2 years, despite the fact that nearly half (46 per cent) said that budgets would remain the same.
  • Manual approach remains: Despite the complexities associated with investigative reviews, an overwhelming 76 per cent indicated their approach is manual, while just over half (56 per cent) conduct keyword search and linear batching review, followed by fewer than a third (30 per cent) using technology-assisted review or advanced analytics.
  • Strike teams provide value: To address the challenges of managing investigations internally, legal and compliance managers are incorporating teams of individuals to support investigations, with the top area of spend cited by respondents as support from professional services/consulting and legal service providers (62 per cent).    

Technology-driven analytics and machine learning, combined with the use of a strike team and cross-collaboration among a variety of business functions – including human resources, compliance, legal, audit, risk, security and information technology – allows organizations to manage the volume of electronically stored information, while capitalising on the value each business function brings to the investigation.

“As organizations’ investigation needs continue to grow, along with growing document volumes, it is increasingly important to get accurate facts quickly and efficiently. Doing so allows organisations to understand the merits of a particular matter more easily and make strategic decisions more quickly,” said Anna Mercado Clark, Partner at Phillips Lytle.