Financial services organizations across the globe continue to face growing pains in terms of managing compliance risk. Driven by factors such as an ever-increasing number of regulations and enforcement actions, many organizations are constantly playing catch up to make sure their risk management operations are optimized. Along the way, they are starved for the kind of meaningful and timely reporting that can provide actionable insights on the overall health of their financial crime and compliance risk – and in turn prevent financial crime, losses, and penalties. From speaking with our customers, we think that a number of these difficulties can be alleviated by leveraging robust visual analytics within risk and compliance teams.
Our customers’ focus seems to center around data access and reporting – for example, many compliance organizations may not have the information they need readily available in a timely manner. Worse, the data that they are reviewing is often stagnant – providing only an historical view rather than real-time insight. One organization I spoke to said that it could take approximately three months to put together risk and compliance reports and get the right people in the room to review them. As a result, decisions are made about past occurrences rather than the current reality.
Without an intuitive, accessible tool, risk and compliance teams turn to workarounds, such as spreadsheets, which are often inefficient, ineffective, and which rely on older data. These workarounds severely limit a team’s capacity to explore the massive amounts of financial crime and compliance data they have, creating significant risk from the “unknown unknowns”. Teams are unable to discover trends which can help them identify new risk exposures, which means they don’t know what events to prepare for or react to – and subsequently, they won’t know how it will affect them or their customers.
These types of business scenarios abound, and are exactly the types of issues that visual analytics applications are designed to address. Visual analytics, a new approach that is finding its way into new anti-money laundering, enterprise fraud, and surveillance software solutions, enable organizations to quickly understand the current state of an organization’s data and guide analysis to find hidden links in the data and the unknown risks through visual snapshots.