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August 31, 2021

Analytics and AI Not Being Fully Utilized for Audits and Compliance Investigations: Report


While there is an increase in the number of investigations companies are conducting in the areas of employee conduct, regulatory compliance, security, and privacy, companies by and large are not making full use of the advanced analytics and AI tools at their disposal, according to a new report by OpenText.

OpenText commissioned Compliance Week to conduct the study, which is based on a survey of 200 compliance, legal, and internal audit professionals. The study found that investigations across employee conduct, regulatory compliance, security, and privacy have increased between 14% and 32% over the past year.

But the investigators are running into obstacles along the way, according to the survey, which found 42% faced time restraints, 39% experienced difficulty collecting data from remote and off-network locations, and another 39% ran into trouble collecting data from new sources of electronically stored information.

Despite the increase in the number of investigations expected to take place over the next two years, budgets are largely expected to be flat over that time, the survey says. That’s a concern, especially considering the lack of automation being applied to the field.

(Source: Compliance Week)

In fact, OpenText reports that 76% of survey responders will use a manual approach to gathering and analyzing data. Just over half (56%) will conduct keyword search and linear batching review, the company says. The report found that 31% will use technology-assisted review or machine learning, and 30% will use advanced analytics, to help them with their work.

The results of the study show that, despite a perceived need for improved efficiencies and better outcomes, companies just aren’t using analytics and AI to investigate the large amount of electronically stored information.

“Data analytics, automation, and machine learning are necessary tools in supporting investigations,” Lou Blatt, OpenText’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer says in a press release. “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.”

OpenText recommends that companies not only adopt AI and analytics, but also adopt a “strike team” approach to more efficiently tackling compliance and audit investigations. It further recommends that companies pair these strike teams with a group of existing business leaders in HR, compliance, legal, audit, risk, security, and IT.

You can access the Compliance Week report, which is the subject of a webinar on September 23, at this link.

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