Archives for February 2017

ANALYTICS AGAINST FRAUD

Features, PublicNet: 24 February, 2017

The 2016 Annual Fraud Indicator, an industry report produced at the University of Portsmouth, estimated that fraud costs the UK £193 billion every year, with £144 billion attributed to business fraud. Having more financial services and more personal information online can entice fraudsters but organisations can also leverage this information to monitor and reduce risk. Here, Greg Richards, Sales and Marketing Director of business intelligence specialist Connexica, looks at how organisations can employ analytics software to manage the risks of fraud.

From paying council tax to paying a leisure centre membership, many tasks that previously required a trip to the local council office can now be completed online. While this is far more convenient for customers, it also gives the organisations a chance to cross-reference this large amount of data to prevent fraud.

According to the National Fraud Authority, fraud and corruption costs local government £2 billion a year. At a time when budgets are tight for local authorities, any financial savings have a large impact. Fraud and corruption reduce the amount of resources that are available for legitimate claimants and also reduce the money available for public services.

In response to these figures, Kent County Council’s counter fraud team set up the Kent Intelligence Network (KIN). Local authorities involved in the partnership unified a wide range of data before using analytics software to scrutinise the data to find matches and patterns which could potentially indicate fraudulent activity.

By using business analytics software, organisations can search for discrepancies between previously separated data sets such as council tax, benefits and leisure centre records. Council tax records may show that someone claims to live alone but leisure centre records may show multiple people registered at an address. Councils can use analytics software to flag up such discrepancies and investigate further based on quantitative findings.

Streams of data that need to be analysed may come from different types of software, especially when they come from different organisations. To successfully identify any potential fraudulent activity, business analytics software should be able to monitor data from different sources. For example, Connexica’s CXAIR software is able to monitor data from a number of common business applications such as Sage. CXAIR also uses plug-in adapters to import information from other services such as Twitter or LinkedIn.

Every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data. Due to this huge amount of data that large organisations record every day, it is impossible for employees to manually monitor all data to look for any suspicious activity, or to look for patterns. In banking, analytics software is often used to search for suspicious activity, such as a series of withdrawals or transfers to offshore accounts, and these can then be flagged for further monitoring.

It is vital that large companies have safeguards in place to protect against fraudulent activity. For example, bank employees have authorisation limits on the payments that they can make, but even these measures have previously been circumvented by making two smaller transactions rather than one large one. By using business analytics software, companies can trace all of the transactions that have been made by a teller if suspicions are raised. Software that uses natural language search makes this much easier for non-technical staff, who can search for all records by name. They will then see a record of all of the payments authorised by that teller and can identify any fraudulent activity.

With experts predicting an increase in fraud over the coming years, the annual fraud report recommends that companies should make investments into the development of anti-fraud detection systems. By using business analytics software, companies have increased control and management over the wide range of data that they hold and can better mitigate the risk of fraudulent activity.

Editor’s note: If you want to ensure you keep up to date with press material, opinion focussed blog content and case studies from Connexica, you can visit its media centre here – https://www.connexica.com/media/.

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THE TRUE COSTS OF MISSING THE SCHOOL TRANSPORT SCHEDULING WINDOW AND HOW BEST TO AVOID THEM

Features, PublicNet: 21 February, 2017

Paul Attenborough describes the problems councils face annually in inviting tenders for school transport. He offers suggestions for tackling the issue with rapid route planning.

According to the Department of Transport, 29% of 11-16 year olds use some form of bus transport when travelling to school. With more than 8.5 million pupils attending 24,000 schools in England that equates to up to 2.5 million school passengers a day. The provision of safe, reliable and efficient school transport poses a significant challenge for Local Authorities, especially when finances are constrained. Councils are under further pressure to minimise the number of vehicles needed, reduce CO2 emissions and minimise journey times for passengers.

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PUTTING PEOPLE AT THE HEART OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE INTEGRATION

Features, PublicNet: 10 February, 2017

Achieving the vision of health and social care integration calls for a shift in culture and a new way of working, suggests Mark Raeburn, who examines the thoughts of seven directors of adult social services on the topic.

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CUTTING PATIENT DOCUMENTATION TIME

Features, PublicNet: 7 February, 2017

In this feature Dr Simon Wallace calls for healthcare organisations to build speech-enabled clinical documentation to improve patient services.

Faced with the unparalleled challenges of a rising population, seemingly constant pressure to reform and growing patient demands – against the backdrop of budget cuts and austerity, and a government commitment to develop a paperless organisation by 2020 – the NHS is confronting one of the toughest periods since its inception.

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AUTOMATE PUBLIC SECTOR AND CUT HALF A MILLION JOBS SAYS THINK TANK

Headlines, PublicNet: 7 February, 2017

Half a million jobs could be cut in the public sector with a full scale automation programme argues the Reform think tank in a new report.

The report calls for a thorough overhaul across the public sector to explore where artificial intelligence, chatbots and drones could be used to reduce demands for people.

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