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In today’s fast-paced and information-driven market, business intelligence (BI) has become even more important. The quality of financial reporting that is required by internal and external stakeholders, such as regulators, has to adhere to incredibly high standards.
The UK Bribery Act in particular has made it essential for companies to have adequate procedures in place to assess risks concerning bribery, corruption and money laundering. Failure to comply with these requirements or adequately assess these potential risks could result in serious reputational damage and even prosecution.
This is where business intelligence is important, as it can provide you with all the information you need at your benefits. But what are the benefits of business intelligence? Here are our thoughts.
What is Business Intelligence?
Business intelligence is an investigation, audit, or review that is performed for a company to confirm any relevant facts or details of a matter that is currently under consideration. In the business world, it will usually take place before the firm engages in a financial transaction.
What are the Benefits of Business Intelligence?
There are many ways in which business intelligence can help your business. These include:
Identifying Potential Risks
Business intelligence can provide essential insight into any potential risks that could emerge from dealing with third parties and other business associates. This could be anything from reputation damage to any punitive or disciplinary action that might have taken place. It can also provide information on areas such as corruption, bribery, money laundering or economic sanctions. Finally, the process can identify if the target organisation or individual is politically-affiliated or is leveraging their affluent connections.
Research is usually carried out using specialist press archives and databases, with the results then presented in a detailed, yet succinct, report.
Uncovering Unethical Practices
In today’s business environment, some individuals will unfortunately try to find ways to circumvent laws, regulations and company policies. Despite strong controls, it can still be difficult to enforce the rules, meaning fraudulent activity will occasionally take place.
Business intelligence and investigative due diligence uses multiple forensic tools to provide a thorough understanding of the situation and uncover essential evidence. These include reviewing public records, carrying out site visits, conducting human source enquiries, and carrying out data analytics.
Tracing of Assets
Understanding the real worth of third parties, such as investee partners or borrowers, is becoming increasingly important. This is also true for individuals inside your organisation, like senior employees.
Business intelligence can help if you are looking to:
- Uncover information about an individual’s or company’s wealth profile
- Gather details about an individual’s or company’s asset profile
- Find information about any tangible assets that are owned by an individual
The process is especially useful when it comes to financial transactions which involve large sums of money. It can also be used to ensure that the funds provided are being used for their intended purposes.
When it comes to the tracing of assets, business intelligence is carried out by scouring corporate records, corporate information and carrying out site visits.
Analysing the professional experience and behavioural patterns of potential senior hires is incredibly important. This is to ensure that the individual can perfectly align with your company’s goals and policies.
Senior managers will usually be entrusted with extremely sensitive information which is critical to the reputation of a company. Business intelligence can help you obtain valuable information about a potential candidate to evaluate their integrity and capabilities. It can also help identify the mannerisms of the individual when dealing with unfavourable situations, how they performed in previous roles, and can even probe into their background.
Monitoring of Investments
It can often be incredibly difficult to monitor investments and obtain detailed information from business partners on the progress of certain projects. These concerns will be particularly heightened if the projects are at an inaccessible location or are out of reach for investors due to a lack of human network.
Business intelligence techniques can be utilised to gain an independent assessment of the circumstances, to ensure that the information that is being provided to you is correct. If you are already lacking in details from the third party, you can rely on business intelligence to tell you exactly what is going on.
To help with the monitoring of your investments, business intelligence uses a combination of scouring public records, making human source enquiries and carrying out site visits to help evaluate the timeliness of delivery and ongoing health of the project.
Identifying Political Risks
In every country, there is a strong connection between business and politics. This will vary in structure and thickness, and will usually affect each industry in different ways. Business intelligence can help analyse reputational risk that is attached to certain types of political activity such as changes in government, populist measures, arbitrary regulation, and political control of the judiciary.
These changes in the political landscape can also influence the acceptance of an investor and may even result in them becoming embroiled in social conflict. It is therefore essential to use business intelligence techniques to assess an individual’s exposure to political risk and provide insights into political regulation and government stability.
How Inquesta can Help
Business intelligence is a highly specialised industry. As a result, you need to be confident that you are working with an experienced and thorough partner. This is where Inquesta can help.
Our business intelligence team consists of highly trained investigators and intelligence specialists who have extensive experience in litigation support, due diligence, fraud and other investigations. We perform an in-depth analysis of the situation and are able to tailor our service to suit your exact requirements.
We can help you mitigate reputational, regulatory, financial and strategic risk by providing you with intelligence needed to vet your customers, suppliers, partners, acquisition targets, contractors, resellers, grant applicants, and other associates effectively and efficiently.
Inquesta is committed to providing a holistic, client-centric service. This means you can be confident that you are working with a company that has your best interests at heart.
For more information about how Inquesta can help you with your business intelligence needs, contact a member of our team today or request a free, no obligation consultation.