Magazine article Security Management

Case Closed

Magazine article Security Management

Case Closed

Article excerpt

Seeing the connections between clues has become easier for modern sleuths who can use software to guide them through data fields.

It's a cliche that has been around as long as talking pictures: an investigator--whether a police officer, private detective, or company researcher--poring over stacks of manila files, drawing arrows and writing names on a chalkboard in a tenacious attempt to connect the information buried in the mound of files and solve the case.

That was how investigators struggled to make sense of witness testimony and other data when investigating incidents at one large multinational oil company where the investigative unit deals with issues such as internal and external fraud. Then several new investigators joined the unit. They had been using a software program to analyze clues at their former employer, another oil company. They suggested that the department implement the same approach. Management agreed, and the company began using the Analyst's Notebook and iBase, produced by i2 Inc., of Springfield, Virginia.

The Analyst's Notebook has been used by law enforcement and commercial clients in the United States for about six years. It takes complex case information input by investigators and displays it in easily understood charts; iBase is a database program that fully integrates with the Analyst's Notebook. The database is able to store data for multiple cases in one central location. Users can click one button to visualize part of a case, the entire case, or multiple cases.

The notebook software includes two main analysis tools: the Link Notebook and the Case Notebook. The former supports association charts; commodity flow charts, such as those tracing money from drug sales as it flows from street users, through the laundering process, and back to the kingpin; activity charts; and network (or high-volume link) analysis charts, such as those depicting phone records for a given day. The latter allows users to analyze data according to time and/or date fields.

The company now runs every investigation through this electronic Philip Marlowe. According to one of the investigative unit's security advisors, staff input data into iBase, which can "dump" the information directly into the Analyst's Notebook: names, dates, and so on. The software then displays the data in graphic format. …

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