01.23.2012
By Terry Flanagan

Unstructured Data Complicates Compliance

Text analytics and social media technology are embraced by firms.

The task of complying with Finra regulations is complicated by the reams of unstructured data that companies generate through customer interactions.

In tracking Finra compliance, early warning signs often appear in the form of solicited and unsolicited feedback from customers,” Sid Banerjee, CEO and co-founder of Clarabridge, told Markets Media.  “Text analytics enables you to quickly identify such information, and escalate it through the appropriate channels.”

Clarabridge, a provider of sentiment and text analytics, enables financial services clients to make sense of vast amounts of data.

“It collects, categorizes, determines sentiment for, and makes sense of every idea, every clause among million pieces of text,” said Banerjee.

When data is fed into Clarabridge, it automatically groups it by recurring themes and scores every idea on an 11-point sentiment scale, enabling firms to automate manual coding processes that used to take week or months in a matter of minutes, Banerjee said.

Clarabridge users in the financial sector include PNC, Fidelity and Huntington Banks, as well one of the word’s larges insurers and several top international banks, he said.

Unstructured information is a major component of Big Data, and harnessing it is one of the major challenges.

“For us, Big Data is focused on the ever-growing volumes of unstructured data,” said Banerjee.

“Text and sentiment analytics enables organizations to speed up what used to take place manually,” he said. “You take a qualitative, intuitive decision-making process and make it evidence-based, and thereby use Big Data to generate quantitative insights.”

A major source of unstructured data is social media. As regulatory and government requirements, such as Finra Notice 10-06, make it critical for firms to implement and enforce a social media policy, firms are moving to empower individuals within sales, marketing, HR and customer support departments to communicate and engage with customers and prospects.

Actiance has provided Finra compliant controls for the recording of content, pre approval of static content (including LinkedIn profiles) and feature access controls since 2010.  Its Socialite Engage product, launched in 2011, enables individuals are able to disseminate centrally approved content to key connections and measure engagement and results for true social media return on investment.

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