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Roundup: how to use big data to tackle public sector fraud

Roundup: how to use big data to tackle public sector fraud | Blackhawk Mines Corp Mining | Scoop.it
Our latest live discussion explored how to overcome the technical and cultural obstacles for tackling fraud
Eignheart Zober's insight:

Dave Porter, head of fraud strategy at SAS business analytics and business intelligence software service:Big Data is a revolution but not everyone has spotted it: many businesses think they do it already, but they don't because their software and skills are not up to date. Some IT directors miscalculate the potential storage and mip cost and forget that grid and in-memory, cloud and hadoop are all much cheaper. Lastly, it's sometimes a complex business case: how much money will I save or make if I adopt this hardware or software to find things I can't yet prove exist? Here at SAS we understand that, and put a lot of effort into helping organisations build profitable business cases. Data mining requires a true blend of technical and creative skills: traditional science, technology and maths training seems to scare away candidates who are more right brained. The net result is not enough graduates. SAS take this very seriously and sponsor about 75 UK & Ireland universities as well as offering free online STEM courses to thousands of schools globally.

Prediction is king: reacting in real time to fraud alerts is akin to the fairground game of "wackamole". Prediction brings calmness and focus to counter fraud operations. Many frauds require a certain amount of preparation - detect those potential early signatures, monitor those accounts more closely and plan your response ahead of the theft attempt.

 

3 tips for public managers to minimise fraud:

• Review and secure your core data assets - simply identify what's worth stealing. Note the value to the fraudster may not be the same as the loss to you.

• Review your IT security - does everybody need admin rights, are your telephone extension numbers the same as your pins?

• Start saving data even if you think it's of low value - for example, log files and deleted transactions. The subtle behaviours of a successful organised fraudster are hard to spot by eye but increasingly easy to spot with the right technology.

Martina King, chief executive of FeatureSpace: The technology may exist but it doesn't mean it's being implemented: the point with having clever analytics tools is that they look at real data; information, rather than hunches. I'm not denying there's value to human intuition, but I still feel that by employing smarter solutions, we're going to be able to stop a whole lot more fraud both from outside and within. Is fraud the cost of doing business in some organisations? this is a huge question right now, given that we're now in a what, triple dip recession? While keeping out fraud is important, we don't want to inhibit growth, and being able to take on a higher amount of grey area risk is vital, in my view. It's why we need technically advanced fraud systems that can give a granular view of a client base. If you're able to have your system scrutinise each individual customer, then worrying about having to accept fraud when you expand into new areas should be a thing of the past.

 

3 tips for public managers to minimise fraud:

• Individualise your strategy - it should look at your individual customers, and it should be individual to you as a company. Blanket rules simply aren't helpful. They're arbitrary and restrictive.

• Be adaptive - if your fraud system can't cope with changing behaviour in the run up to Christmas, or at any other time that might affect your business, then you have a real problem on your hands. You need to be alert to the rise in fraud that may happen at these times.

• Be predictive - if you can stop fraud before it happens then you're away.

 

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