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Social Media Analytics Underutilized in Corporate Investigations


October 26, 2015 (Investment Weekly News) Nearly half of those polled (45.2 percent) use publicly available social media content when conducting investigations, but only 12.6 percent use analytics to scour the massive amount of available data, according to a recent Deloitte poll.



Nearly half of those polled (45.2 percent) use publicly available social media content when conducting investigations, but only 12.6 percent use analytics to scour the massive amount of available data, according to a recent Deloitte poll.

"Since most people are willing to share a lot online, there's an abundance of social media content out there," said Wendy Schmidt, Deloitte Advisory principal and Business Intelligence Services global leader, Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP. "In the past year or so, new analytic tools have emerged that gather information from publicly available social media content which, in a matter of minutes, can reveal connections that previously may not have been identifiable. We are using this information, along with more traditional public record research, in the context of pending litigation, fraud and corruption investigations, regulatory inquiries, M&A due diligence and cyber threat sensing."

Mark Nicholson, Deloitte Advisory principal in Cyber Risk Services, Deloitte & Touche LLP, added, "Contrary to common perception, cyber incidents and breaches don't typically happen the same way twice. Social media analytics can help organizations scan for previously identified threats -- as well as potential newer threats that have previously not been recognized. The power of this level of risk sensing is very compelling, but many companies are still working to develop their capabilities."

Challenges to using social media analytics include lack of budget/resources (21.6 percent) and lack of leader understanding of its use (18.4 percent). In fact, 25.8 percent of poll respondents were unaware analytics tools designed to collect and analyze publicly available social media content existed at all. Regardless of internal investigation type, respondents reported low use of social media content. Roughly one-fifth (21.6 percent) use social media content for HR-related investigations. However, few leverage it for transaction support (10.5 percent), regulatory compliance (8.7 percent) or litigation support (5.2 percent). 

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