Data Analysis ServicesEvery day, senior executives are grappling with an increasing torrent of business intelligence derived from computer data and human networks on almost every aspect of their company activities.

The question is how to use such a rich source of information to support and safeguard a business from the unwelcome attention of fraudsters both in- and outside the company.

The more information you receive, the longer it takes to sift through, so how do you identify which data is important? What is big data? And where do you start to mitigate risk?


It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, particularly if your business is up and coming, you have limited staff and you have to keep up momentum to meet ever-increasing targets and expectations.

How to stay ahead of fraud

But to stay ahead of fraudsters, it’s essential to be aware of the latest business intelligence tools available, such as fraud mapping platforms that predict potential fraud spots and increase your business intelligence capability.

You need to be able to come up with the right fraud strategy, mastering business intelligence tools and knowing when to use them. It’s work you might consider initially outsourcing to corporate intelligence agencies such as Blackhawk, which are constantly updating their knowledge of new software on the market and can save you valuable money and staff time spent on risky and costly DIY systems.

A professional agency can work with your employees in a dispassionate way; it can quickly analyse your company’s cyber safety and spot internal risks and weaknesses you might overlook. It can also help you avoid cancelling orders because you may have carried out an over-zealous, labour-intensive manual review of pending and potentially fraudulent transactions.

Anti-fraud measures that are counter-productive

The fraudsters are out there but not in the numbers companies fear. A recent report from the US on ‘card not present’ (CNP) fraud losses predicts that by 2020 cases will rise from a current $4bn to $7.2bn. It cites a staggering eight additional sales are needed to cover the costs of a single fraudulent online order and yet businesses are still stopping twice as many customer orders as they need.

This is where agencies like Blackhawk come into their own. Many of the massive costs incurred through fraud are in lost sales – people deciding not to order or to cancel an existing order – and in compensation to defrauded customers. Then add in the non-recoupable costs of delivery and payments to staff handling fraud claims.

It’s a salutary fact that, in the US alone, companies suspecting fraud turned away $16bn of business in 2014 – 2.6% of orders were declined yet only 0.9% proved fraudulent.

No need to reinvent the wheel

Around a quarter of money spent on US fraud prevention goes on manual DIY fraud reviews, with companies often buying in expensive hardware, reinventing a wheel already well oiled by Blackhawk and other fraud experts.

Speed is of the essence in combating fraud. Recent research highlights the fact that companies now want to get data as fast as possible to the appropriate staff who can use it.

There is a move towards data integration, so instead of gathering in information from different sources to one central data bank, data ‘explorer’ programs will seek out and link to different data sets where they are.

This is in response to heightened executive demands for clear analysis of business transactions, spelling out answers to questions and producing different scenarios depending on the data being added.

Surprising answers from ‘big dataanalysis

The emphasis now is on analysing ‘big data’ – often terabytes of information pouring in from every section of a business –  and coming up with trends, preempt fraud, and work out potential future lines of expansion. Such activity will often require the expertise of business intelligence agencies to at least set up sophisticated self-service ‘mining’ techniques to make ‘big data’ an everyday component of company decision-making.

The use of iPads, smartphones and other mobile devices are bringing up-to-date data to key executives at breakneck speeds, but rapid changes in how fraud is carried out and accurate data mining also requires a sophisticated understanding of how fraudsters operate.

Role of a business intelligence expert  

As more companies rely increasingly on complex data analysis to make business decisions, there is a growing need to work with outside forensic experts.

Predictive analytics applications, which can help you identify future risks alongside future business opportunities, can chug through data banks. But it takes business intelligence experts to interpret and contextualise results, providing a constant, relentless analysis of normal website activities which can highlight the difference between requests commonly made by customers and suspect behaviour.

And for many businesses, the right information delivered to the right people at the right time will increasingly make the chilling difference between success and failure.

Article Name

What data analysis can tell us about fraud


Every day, senior executives are grappling with an increasing torrent of business intelligence derived from computer data and human networks on almost every aspect of their company activities.

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