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Unified Business Intelligence in Action:
Managing Risk for the Financial Services Market in a World of Uncertainty

online columnist Ronen Feldman, Ph.D.     Column published in DMReview.com
June 2, 2005
  By Ronen Feldman, Ph.D.

Today's leading financial institutions face increasing numbers of compliance issues, including government regulations and data security. CIOs in the financial industry have been on the forefront of incorporating traditional database systems, query tools and BI applications to manage the risk and compliance issues they face on a daily basis. CIOs need to comply with a higher standard of care that requires the use of internal and external data. But there is a problem. The structured BI systems developed over the past 20 years are failing; they have hit a ceiling of functionality. Traditional BI systems can't handle external data embedded in text such as people and affiliations; they simply can't capture the multitude of voices required in today's dynamically changing market place.

What can? A unified BI architecture that incorporates traditional structured data management and analysis with text analysis tools to reach the information hidden in unstructured content. This content includes emails, Word documents, RSS feeds and Web sites - all places where the voice of the customer and market are "hiding."

The unified BI stack is already a reality for Regulatory DataCorp (RDC), an independent company formed by 20 leading financial institutions to provide risk and compliance-related business intelligence. RDC has a mandate to aggregate and leverage public information, technology, and regulatory and industry expertise on a global basis to enable clients to better identify and manage legal, regulatory and reputation-related risks and comply with global regulatory responsibilities.

As part of RDC's set of solutions, the company operates the Global Regulatory Information Database (GRID) system, a worldwide clearinghouse of public information designed to help financial institutions and other corporations identify and manage serious threats posed to global security by money laundering, fraud, corruption, terrorist financing and other suspicious activities. Data from the GRID system helps financial institutions conduct automated due diligence on entities, individuals and transactions.

In constructing the GRID system, RDC has taken a unified approach to business intelligence; the GRID system requires RDC to analyze thousands of data sources daily, many of which contain unstructured content rather than traditional structured data. The company relies on a set of text analytics tools to access and analyze the information hidden within unstructured data sources including public records, newspapers and Web sites.

"In building the GRID database, our goal was to construct a system that mirrors the business challenges financial institutions are facing. That entails building a system with the ability to identify and access information relevant to reducing or minimizing risks and meeting regulatory requirements in a timely, economic and efficient manner," said Paula Garzon, director of business development for Regulatory DataCorp.

RDC essentially "structures" data through a process that involves mining text and applying an intelligent mark-up system to identify key entities embedded within free-form text such as news articles, Web surveys and HTML documents. Once structured, this information can be used to drive standalone analytics or can be combined with structured data to provide more comprehensive business intelligence for RDC's clients.

RDC's GRID system is the most comprehensive, accurate and reliable source of risk-relevant regulatory and enforcement information compiled on a worldwide basis. For RDC clients, the GRID systems is a safeguard; it is a source of information necessary to conduct automated due diligence and demonstrate and document to regulatory authorities that they have taken steps to comply with such measures as the USA Patriot Act and domestic and international anti-money-laundering laws.


For more information on related topics visit the following related portals...
Business Intelligence (BI), Compliance and Unstructured Data.

Dr. Ronen Feldman. PhD is one of the leading minds in the field of text mining and draws on years of experience in the development of knowledge discovery systems and text mining applications. Feldman is responsible for ClearForest's technical business development, rapid prototyping, and the research and development of new products. In particular, he is in charge of the wireless segment and development of language models for new vertical domains. Feldman serves as a consultant to leading Israeli companies and serves on the program committees of AAAI, KDD, PKDD and SIGIR. He is often an invited speaker in academic and industrial conferences, and he is a senior lecturer in the Mathematics and Computer Science Department of Bar-Ilan University in Israel.

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