Summarising: easier said than done
Any good blog post starts with a summary. A neat couple of sentences which pull together the subject topic, opinions, observations and observed data to efficiently represent the rest of the content. However summarising is hard, and there’s a lot of work behind the scenes to deliver that final screenshot, text block or sound bite.
If we start thinking about summarising information on the compliance and effectiveness of our financial crime controls, our problem space only expands further.
Effectiveness and Regulatory Compliance summaries in the world of Manual Testing
A recent blog post of ours detailed the many issues with the manual testing of financial crime controls. Well, it seems the news doesn’t get any better when thinking about summarising the findings of this testing to try and extract a fast, efficient and up to date view of regulatory compliance and control effectiveness.
But what would this ideal summary of compliance and effectiveness look like, and why isn’t manual testing currently giving us what we need?
First and foremost it would need to be accurate, conveying true and reliable information. Sadly with manual testing this is almost an impossibility given the minuscule sample ratio involved. If a test of 100 accounts finds that only 3 controls are broken and 1 instance of a regulatory breach, how much confidence can we logically have that this is representative across a user base of many thousands and maybe even millions?
What’s even worse is that these inaccuracies earn interest along the axis of your customer base. As a result just as you are scaling, bringing in business and wanting more assurance than ever that you are effective in stopping financial crime and compliant where it counts, the statistical confidence you can have in the findings of manual testing moves in the other direction.
An ideal summary would also be fast to access. Again this is a tall order in the status quo, with data siloed into various locations and any attempt to gather an aggregated view requiring resources that many busy and burgeoning businesses simply don’t have. Even if we give manual testing the benefit of the doubt and imagine a scenario where the sampled data has been collated from its various stores and is ready for analysis, someone still has to trawl through it all. Line by line. Marking each point against a long list of requirements. Slow to gather, and also slow to analyse. It’s really not ideal.
Finally, this ideal summary would represent the current state of play. The cost of manual testing is high and cadences can’t be expected to exceed the threshold of once or twice a year. When the insights into your effectiveness and compliance are on average months out of date, is it any wonder that businesses currently struggle to gain any sort of clarity on where they currently stand?
Our solution: the Assurance page
With our brand new Assurance page, we believe we’ve built the first ever complete, up-to-date, single-page view into the status of your regulatory compliance and control effectiveness.
Our extensive library of bespoke analysis methods are applied across all of your data, all of the time. This means that we are able to tell you, in a single glance, where you are compliant with regulations vs. where there are breaches and where your controls are working just fine vs. where they’ve failed.
Assurance therefore helps you to avoid debilitating fines by focusing your valuable resources exactly where they’re needed - as soon as they are required - to make things right.
Simple, intuitive groupings
Assurance provides fast and easily-navigable insights across different areas of the financial crime framework. This can allow different responsible and accountable parties to quickly extract the information they need, saving big teams time in the assignment of follow up work.
Furthermore, regulatory requirements can be viewed separately to your controls, to establish plainly how the information you are being shown impacts your state of compliance.
Detailed views into granular data attributes
Assurance doesn’t just keep it to the TLDR. Detailed explanations of the breached regulatory requirement or failed control are given in every instance, for whenever more information is required.
Hints for future value
Cable’s mission is to reduce financial crime in the world. So assurance exposes details of the entire spectrum of our analysis capabilities, showing you where value can be gained from fully integrating Cable into your business.
It wasn’t as easy as it sounds
Building this page presented its fair share of difficulties.
The most significant of these challenges presented itself as the question “How do we group the information that we display so that it’s easily digestible, but also doesn’t sacrifice details?” Separation by areas of the financial crime framework (KYC, IDV etc.) was intuitive, but what then? Trying to relate the complex operations performed by the code ‘under the hood’ left us with a labyrinth of nested information which took significant time to understand. This was the antithesis of what we were trying to achieve with Assurance’s easily-consumable display. Many (many!) discussions later we would restructure parts of our data model to accommodate bitesize chunks of information so that we could easily serve that goldilocks level of context. Not too much, but just enough.
We also had to make sure that the queries and code powering Assurance started fast and stayed fast as data volumes grew. We dove deep into the technical communication protocols we were championing, and what this meant for the developer experience as well as how fast we could serve data to our customers.
Assurance had to also find its place among our Dashboard and Paper Trails, and meticulous attention to detail was paid to ensure the user could navigate intuitively between these features.
At Cable, we believe that the industry is ineffective at stopping financial crime, because no one knows how effective they are. How can you get better at something, if you don't know how good you are today?
Assurance breaks this vicious cycle, allowing our customers to see how good they are not just today, but every day. What they see is fast, intuitive, and above all accurately informed by all possible data. How’s that for a summary?