Mining Big Gains from Big Data

Hilary Tuttle


June 1, 2014

More companies see the potential value of big data for anti-fraud efforts, but executives are struggling with how to implement analytics to make the most of these new tools. According to Ernst & Young's Global Forensic Data Analytics Survey, three-quarters of executives polled believe big data technology can play a key role in fraud prevention and detection. Yet only 7% of respondents are aware of any specific big data technologies, and only 2% currently use these tools in forensic data analytics (FDA) programs.

The biggest challenge identified was finding the right tools or expertise, and many companies that attempt to use FDA are missing the full potential by only using small data sets. But the rewards may be worth the extra work. Top benefits reported were the ability to "enhance our risk assessment process" and "detect potential misconduct that we couldn't detect before."

The report found that the key factors needed to build a successful program are: integrating more advanced technology, communicating early and broadly, and having experienced, knowledgeable end-users to interpret the results. Above all, they cautioned, do not expect overnight adoption-enterprise-wide deployment of FDA takes time to develop the scale and expertise that optimizes results.

Hilary Tuttle is managing editor of Risk Management.